Funding fix still eluding lawmakers

Published 9:27 am Tuesday, April 16, 2013

When it comes to fixing Ohio’s public education funding system, it appears the biggest challenge may be getting a straight answer about the actual impact of proposed changes.

When Gov. John Kasich announced his two-year budget proposal earlier this year the Republican touted that it would level the playing field between wealthy and less affluent school districts and address the overreliance on property taxes, a concept long declared unconstitutional by the Ohio Supreme Court.

Yet the reality was, once the figures from Kasich’s budget were released, a significantly different picture at least here in Lawrence County. None of our schools were slated to receive additional funding of significance, a flaw that certainly brought the entire proposal into question.

Email newsletter signup

Now, the Ohio House has created its budget proposal for public education funding, claiming that it increased funds to most of the state’s schools. Yet analysis by multiple groups and organizations seem to dispute that.

The exact amount of cuts are still to be determined and depends how you look at the information released. The number could be between $80 and $300 million less than Kasich’s plan.

Of course, the final funding plan may look completely different after it gets reconciled with a Senate proposal and goes to the governor.

Public education funding is a vital part of both the state budget and Ohio’s future. We urge lawmakers to focus on this now, finally at least starting down the path toward a fair educational system for every Ohio student regardless of where he or she lives.