Take Action for Education
ADVOCATE FOR FAIR SCHOOL FUNDING NOW!
A Long-Standing Need - TAKE ACTION NOW
The Ohio Constitution mandates that the legislature provide adequate funds that are distributed fairly so that every student in every district has the benefit of a sound education regardless of a community’s capacity to fund a high quality education.
More than 20 years after the Ohio Supreme Court found Ohio’s funding system to be unconstitutional in the first DeRolph decision, a remedy is at hand. In the closing days of the 133rd General Assembly Rep. John Patterson (D) and Rep. Bob Cupp (R), and Sen. Peggy Lehner (R) and Sen. Vernon Sykes (D) introduced a genuine solution the Fair School Funding Plan. It became Sub. HB 305 and SB 376. After clearing the House on a 87-9 vote, the Senate Finance Committee failed to act on the legislation.
With the start of the 134th General Assembly, Rep. Bride Sweeney (D) and Rep. Jamie Callender (R) reintroduced the plan as HB 1 with 66 cosponsors. In April, it was folded into HB 110, the biennium budget bill.
The legislature has a new opportunity to make public school funding in Ohio fair.
In the News
At last, a school funding plan that is fair by Susan Kaeser - 03/13/2021
HB 1 Bill Analysis - from the Ohio LSC
Fair School Funding Plan Presentation - note that Sub H.B. 305 was re-introduced as HB1 this GA.
WHY Fair School Funding AND WHY NOW
Students, school districts, communities and taxpayers all deserve a reliable and fair system. HB 1 is comprehensive and a meaningful blueprint for a wise investment of public funds. It is a serious response to the DeRolph definition of a constitutional system. How well it succeeds will depend on how well it is funded.
Here are some of the merits of adopting this plan:
1 - Public school funding is in tatters and school districts are financially vulnerable.
2 - The plan is complete. It was developed over three years through a model process of thorough, informed, and transparent policy making led by education practitioners. Their focus was a fair system.
3 - The plan is fair. It ensures that all children have access to a quality education regardless of the capacity of their school district to fund that education.
4 - The base cost is defined by the actual cost of providing a quality education.
5 - The distribution formula more accurately assesses local capacity and thereby increases equitable funding.
6 - The plan directly funds vouchers, charter schools, and inter-district transfers instead of deducting those dollars from state aid owed to districts. Deduction funding negates the equalizing effect of the formula, promotes unequal funding and greater reliance on property taxes, and reduces education opportunities for students, particularly in districts with concentrated poverty.
7 - It recognizes that students are unique and addresses special costs of meeting those needs.
8 - It addresses the wide range of transportation costs.
9 -Failure to act would mean chaos going forward. There is no “plan B” or prospect of a solution that could meet the quality of this proposal.
10 - It’s about time.