For Immediate Release: April 25, 2013
Contact: Dale Butland, 614-783-5833
62 “NEW MONEY” SCHOOL LEVIES ON MAY BALLOT
Kasich Budget Cuts Cause $1.3 Billion in School Levies Since May, 2011
Columbus — Innovation Ohio, a progressive think tank headquartered in Columbus, released a spreadsheet today showing that voters in 62 different school districts will be asked to approve “new money” school funding levies next month. If approved, the levies — none of which is for replacement, renewal or construction — will raise $147 million.
As a direct result of the $1.8 billion in school funding cuts approved by Gov. Kasich and the Republican-controlled Ohio legislature, local taxpayers have been asked to approve 393 school levies representing $1.34 billion in new operating money since May, 2011. Levies representing $492 million in new operating funds have passed.
Said IO President Janetta King:
“Given the nearly $2 billion in education funds that Gov. Kasich and his allies slashed from our schools, is anyone really surprised that local levies are growing like mushrooms?
“In district after district, school boards, superintendents and other administrators have done everything they can to cope with the cuts. They’ve laid off teachers, frozen wages, increased class sizes, reduced academic course offerings, increased sports participation fees, consolidated purchasing and taken dozens of other steps to save money. But now they have no alternative but to ask taxpayers for help.
“Innovation Ohio has warned about this from the very beginning. By cutting taxes primarily for the wealthy at the state level, Gov. Kasich and the Republican-controlled legislature have merely pushed the need for tax increases down to the local level.
But Ohioans aren’t stupid. They know a shell game when they see one. They know we can’t continue to fund our schools and local governments through an endless parade of local levies. And sooner or later, they’re going to hold Gov. Kasich and his allies accountable.”