Sounds great, but wait for details
The Ohio Supreme Court ruled more than once the state’s overreliance on local real estate taxes to fund schools was unconstitutional because students in poorer districts were at a disadvantage compared to students in wealthier districts.
The initial ruling came so long ago that students who entered school at the time should be close to graduating by now – from college.
Thus, it’s heartening to hear Gov. John Kasich say his proposal to overhaul school funding will help poor districts surmount that disadvantage.
Kasich’s funding plan not only would help districts that have lower property values, but also would give a boost to those with lower household incomes. He suggests a funding formula that assures a school district that levies property taxes of $20 for every $1,000 of assessed value would have the same amount to spend as a district with $250,000 per-pupil property tax base.
It would put all schools in what now is the 96th percentile of districts statewide. That means only about two dozen districts now have more revenue from local school levies.
That sounds great, but administrators, educators and taxpayers await the details. Can treasurers make five-year plans based on this funding? How will other aspects of the proposal impact the classroom? And how will the revenue for extra education funding be obtained?
After a 16-year delay, interested parties will have to wait a bit longer to see the details. The next two-year budget to be unveiled Monday should provide some answers.