For Immediate Release
March 25, 2011
Contact: Dale Butland
Columbus, Ohio — Innovation Ohio, a progressive think tank headquartered in Columbus, has obtained the Kasich Administration’s district-by-district breakdowns of school funding cuts, including the reimbursement losses districts will incur from the discontinued business taxes contained in the Governor’s budget proposal. The Administration has previously told reporters asking for this information that the so-called “runs” either did not exist or were not available.
Innovation Ohio has learned that the runs did exist but apparently were deliberately withheld from the news media, presumably because they flatly contradict the Administration’s March 23 claim that over 400 of Ohio’s 613 school districts would receive funding increases in FY 2012 and 2013. In fact, the Administration’s internal documents show that 610 districts would receive cuts in FY 2012 and 599 would receive cuts in FY 2013, compared to FY 2011.
As a service to school administrators and taxpayers, Innovation Ohio has also calculated the true amounts each Ohio school district can expect to receive during the biennium, as well as the likely increases in millage that would be required for districts to make up the shortfalls. These documents —along with the Administration spread sheets —are posted at www.innovationohio.org.
Innovation Ohio Communications Director Dale Butland said this about today’s developments:
“It’s always been clear that the Kasich Administration has had a problem with transparency. Now they even seem to have trouble with telling the truth. First, they told reporters that the district-by-district breakdowns either did not exist or were not available. Then they tried to fool the public by releasing incomplete spread sheets which suggested most school districts would get funding increases.
“Not only were both of those representations false, but now we learn that the Administration is apparently keeping two sets of books: one for public consumption that deliberately hides the truth, and one for internal use that reflects reality. This can only be described as serial deception. No wonder the Governor’s credibility and job approval numbers are falling faster than the speed of business.
“But what matters most is that Ohioans are now finding out how much harm the Administration’s budget would do to school districts and taxpayers. And as we’ve said from the beginning, the unbalanced approach Gov. Kasich is taking to closing Ohio’s $8 billion deficit is a shell game that will only lead to large job losses and huge tax hikes at the local level.”
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