Education fix still broken

Published 11:29 am Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Gov. Ted Strickland’s “fix” for Ohio’s educational funding system is still broken, but certainly seems to be a step in the right direction.

Strickland announced massive overhauls to the system earlier this year, a proposal that will cost an additional $925 million over the next biennium.

While this proposal is far from perfect and we hope to see some changes before it is formally implemented, this is a positive step. It moves toward fixing an educational funding system that the Ohio Supreme Court has continually determined to be unconstitutional because of the inequities between affluent and less economically wealthy districts.

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The big change Strickland is proposing will decrease the dependence on property taxes and create what educators are calling an “evidence-based model” rather than a “spending-based model.”

In layman’s terms, this puts the emphasis on what districts should be spending their money on rather than the current system that focuses mostly on the number of students and the ability to tax those who live in the district.

Right now, the governor’s proposal is flawed because it seems to benefit greatly the large, inner-city school districts, with some Lawrence County districts poised not to get any additional funds early on or actually receive less money than they had in the past.

That certainly isn’t the answer and we hope to see the governor address these concerns in an expected revision of the allocation breakdown.

The governor’s fix is still broken but at least it shows the state is trying to make needed repairs.