“For over 80 percent of (school) districts the current funding plan is not working for them,” Logan told the meeting participants.
Ohio’s school funding system was ruled unconstitutional because of its over-reliance on local property taxes, creating inequities between communities with high and low property wealth.
The proposed Ohio House would calculate local communities’ funding share on what has been called a fairer mix of income and property wealth. It calculates a “base cost” to educate an Ohio student, tied to detailed school staffing ratios, and bases other funding on calculations for busing needs, special education, technology and more.
If fully funded after a six-year phase-in, the new plan calls for a $2 billion per year increase in state funding for K-12 schools. The state currently spends about $10 billion a year for K-12 education.
Longtime Senate Education Committee Chair Peggy Lehner favors the bill, calling it “a pretty darn good product … certainly light years better than what we’re currently using.”
Logan said “this school funding plan is a fair plan.”
The proposed formula “looks at every district and the capacity of that district in a fair way. Your income and your property wealth are both considered in every district that is looked at with the most recent information,” she said.
“The costs of educating our students is a shared responsibility with the state and the local (districts), and we believe that this plan more fairly represents your ability to pay as a resident than our current (formula) does now.”