Research OverviewAfter Medicaid expansion was achieved via a vote of the state Controlling Board, state Senator Chris Widener told the Senate Finance Committee that the projected $400 million in savings Ohio will realize from that expansion should be used to pay for another state income tax cut. A tax cut that Policy Matters Ohio estimates would be worth $28 for middle-income taxpayers. When asked whether the money might be better spent on making up some of the $500 million in net funding cuts Ohio schools have received in the last two biennial budgets, “Widener said $400 million divided by the 613 school districts ‘would have a minimal impact.’” An analysis by Innovation Ohio shows Sen. Widener’s claim to be demonstrably false. To the contrary, the impact of an extra $400 million on Ohio schools would be dramatic and profound. Read the report: “The Impact of $400 Million on Ohio Schools”.
Research OverviewGovernor Kasich’s first two-year budget for cut funding to education by $1.8 billion over the previous two-year period. This is in sharp contrast to his predecessor whose last budget actually marked the first time on record that the State provided more toward the cost of K-12 education funding than local property taxpayers. In Kasich’s second budget, passed this summer, school funding remains $515 million below the amount districts received in 2010 and 2011. Fully 3 in 4 school districts must operate with fewer state resources than they received four years ago. Administration critics have repeatedly said that a cut of this size would hobble school districts and shift responsibility for adequate school funding from the state to local taxpayers in the form of higher property and/or income taxes. To measure the indirect effects of these dramatic cuts in operating funding for schools, Innovation Ohio reviewed property and income tax levies on the Nov. 5 ballot and found that Ohio taxpayers will consider 72 levies – at a cost of nearly $260 million in additional taxes – to fund school operations. Our research looked at any “new money” levies for operations that have appeared on local ballots since Gov. Kasich introduced his first budget in March, 2011. The numbers have become ever more staggering with each new election. From May, 2011 to November, 2013, Ohio voters will have considered an unprecedented $1.6 billion in new property and income taxes for schools. During the equivalent period of Governor Strickland’s term in office, voters considered $1.2 billion in new money for operations – an increase of 33%. [Read more…]
Today, a House-Senate conference committee is set to finalize the outlines of a broad package of tax reforms that will be incorporated into the state’s two-year budget. A new analysis by Innovation Ohio shows that nearly half the sitting members of the Ohio General Assembly could directly benefit from a new tax break aimed at business owners. Forty-seven legislators report an ownership stake in a pass-through entity, while another 10 have an indirect relationship through a spouse’s ownership or as an employee. Another 12 members list ownership in corporations that may elect to be taxed as individuals. [Read more…]
Research OverviewWith a rebounding economy and improved tax collections, the two-year state budget process offered Gov. John Kasich and the Ohio General Assembly an extraordinary opportunity to restore support for public education and to correct the course of Ohio’s 15 year, largely failed experiment in school choice. Instead, through policy and funding choices contained in the legislation, they have effectively doubled down on a concept that has born scant fruit for Ohio’s children, instead promising even more taxpayer assistance to charters and private schools, all while forcing public schools to do more with less. In this report, Innovation Ohio will highlight provisions in the Senate-passed version of HB 59 – many of which were introduced by the Governor or the House – that further undermine public education and tilt the playing field in favor of poorly performing charters and unaccountable private schools. In particular, we find that HB 59:
- sends more money to charters, regardless of performance
- lowers standards for charter schools, exempting them from accountability expected of Ohio’s traditional public schools
- continues the push to privatize our public schools by union-busting and outsourcing
- sends more taxpayer money to fund private schools, and
- forces traditional schools to do more with less
Governor Kasich frequently claims to embrace school funding policies that put more money in the classroom. So a new Innovation Ohio Education Fund analysis released today may prove instructive, as it looks at how likely Ohio traditional public and charter schools are to do just that. The IOEF analysis finds that:
- Traditional public school districts in Ohio dedicated 11.5% of their spending to administration
- The average charter spends over 28% on administration
- The best charter schools spend 20.5%, while the worst spend nearly 40% on administration
- On a per pupil basis, the worst charter schools in Ohio spend six times as much on administration [Read more…]
When Governor Kasich introduced his first two-year budget, Innovation Ohio released district-by-district data on the true impacts of the plan. This provided a full accounting of funding reduction that districts would experience as a result of the choice not to replace federal stimulus dollars and to phase out payments to districts made since local tax revenues were eliminated. Now, with the introduction of the budget for fiscal years 2014 and 2015, we reprise our analysis, looking at the combined 4-year impact of state funding changes on districts. Even with additional funds flowing to schools in this budget, it does not make up for the cuts in the last. [Read more…]
Research OverviewInnovation Ohio has analyzed data from the Ohio Department of Education that demonstrates that the way charter schools are funded in this state has a profoundly negative impact on the resources that remain for the 1.6 million kids in Ohio’s traditional public schools. In the vast majority of cases — even in many urban school districts — the state is transferring money to charter schools that perform substantially worse than the public schools from which the students supposedly “escaped.” Key Findings:
- Because of the $774 million deducted from traditional public schools in FY 2012 to fund charters, children in traditional public schools received, on average, $235 (or 6.5%) less state aid than the state itself said they needed.
- More than 90% of the money sent to rated charter schools in the 2011-2012 school year went to charters that on average score significantly lower on the Performance Index Score than the public schools students had left.
- Over 40% of state funding for charters in 2011-2012 ($326 million) was transferred from traditional public districts that performed better on both the State Report Card and Performance Index. [Read more…]