Governor John Kasich introduced Ohio’s proposed Executive Budget for Fiscal Years 2012 and 2013 on March 15th, 2011. The governor’s announcement falsely asserted a one percent increase for primary education in FY12 and FY13, a claim that only withstands scrutiny if revisionist history is applied and State Fiscal Stabilization Funds are wiped from the budget ledger. Upon further study, perhaps even more disturbing is the ideologically-driven commitment to expanding school choice programs without regard to the negative impact such policies would have on funding for traditional public schools.
In addition to the $395 million (FY12) and $305 million (FY13) in statewide funding cuts to primary education through the foundation program, Governor Kasich’s proposed expansion of school choice would steer even more money from school districts to unaccountable private and charter schools.
Specifically, Innovation Ohio projects that by FY13, the Kasich budget would transfer an additional $567.7 million to private and failing charter schools.
Such a diversion leaves school districts, which are responsible for educating 1.7 million children, with drastically reduced resources at the worst possible time. Local property taxpayers face a troubling choice: dramatically increase their own local property tax burden, or watch their school systems suffer as private and charter schools thrive from historically unprecedented increases in state support.
Innovation Ohio believes that forcing communities to choose between increasing their local taxes or having their school districts to absorb these hidden education cuts is an irresponsible and ideologically driven policy.
Read the report (PDF).