News Release: Kasich Declares War on Public Schools

For Immediate Release
March 22, 2011

Contact:  Dale Butland
614- 783-5833

KASICH DECLARES WAR ON PUBLIC SCHOOLS;
PROPOSED BUDGET WOULD TRANSFER $567 MILLION MORE TO PRIVATE AND FAILING CHARTER SCHOOLS

Columbus, Ohio — Innovation Ohio, a new progressive think tank headquartered in Columbus, released an analysis today which found that the two-year budget proposed last week by the Kasich Administration would result in an additional loss to public schools of $567 million by FY 2013. The money would be funneled instead to private and charter schools, and the additional loss would almost certainly necessitate raising local property taxes in communities least able to afford them.

Previously, the Ohio Association of School Business Officials (OASBO) and the Ohio School Board Association (OSBA) estimated that the Kasich budget would cut $3.1 billion from K-12 education. The additional $567 million loss projected by Innovation Ohio is separate.

Highlights of the study, posted at www.innovationohio.org, include

  • $500 million of the projected loss comes from the increased deductions local school districts would suffer from the Administration’s proposed expansion of charter (or “community”) schools, while $67 million in additional losses would come from deductions stemming from the proposed expansion of the “EdChoice” private school program.
  • Although charter schools were originally championed as a way for students coming primarily from poor families to escape “failing” public schools, just 21% of charters are rated as “effective” or better, compared to 72% of traditional schools with that rating.
  • Despite their dismal performance, charter schools have not been held accountable. Their state funding has increased an eye-popping 1,285% since 2001, while traditional public schools have received a mere 25% increase.
  • Educating a child in a charter school is not cheaper and, in fact, costs the state, on average, more than double what it spends to educate that same child in a traditional public school.
  • Similarly, the 39 school districts now participating in the EdChoice program suffer a loss of $67 million in state funding – which translates into $5,200 per year for a private school education, as opposed to the $4,327 per child the state pays those districts to educate public school students.
  • The “deduction system” used to fund charter schools disproportionately burdens poorer school districts. To replace the state money being lost to community schools, poorer districts must, on average, raise property tax millage rates to a level nearly ten times higher than that required of richer districts.

Said Innovation Ohio Communications Director Dale Butland:

“This study reaffirms the tremendous harm the Administration’s budget would do to school districts and taxpayers. It also raises serious questions about Gov. Kasich’s near obsession with expanding charter and private schools. Why would a Governor who talks endlessly about accountability not only give a pass to poorly performing charters, but also insist on throwing ever-greater amounts of money at them?”

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