What you need to know about Ohio Politics and Policy
Stephen Dyer · February 1, 2013
“Over the long-term, the inequities created by “Guarantee Funds” are unsustainable and unfair, and school districts should begin preparing for their eventual phase out .” – Kasich websiteEliminating the guarantee from his formula, as he stated he would do in his own document, would reduce funding levels to $5.8 billion and $6 billion — roughly the amount districts received in 2005-2006. In constant dollars, it would be about the same relative amount districts received in the 1999-2000 school year. This is a familiar refrain — warning districts cuts are coming and if they don’t prepare, it’s the districts’ fault for not preparing, not the state’s fault for cutting. 4) The baseline per pupil amount seems low and conveniently calculated. Kasich has set everyone to a baseline level where they raise 20 mills on $250,000 per pupil of valuation (with some additional revenue for districts through an additional calculation that isn’t entirely clear year). For those of us who speak English, rather than EduSpeak, that equals $5,000 per pupil. That baseline amount is very low and awfully round. Makes one wonder if the whole “we want everyone to get credit for having $250,000 per pupil of valuation” thing was really a way to manipulate calculations to get to the whole “we want every kid to cost $5,000” thing. That amount is so low that not even eSchools (which don’t have buidlings, buses, janitors, etc.) spend that per pupil. 5) No additional Charter accountability After several months of talk from Kasich and his allies about getting tough on Charter Schools, that rhetoric was noticeably absent from yesterday’s presentations. We’ll see next week if there is language in the budget dealing with this issue. But if Kasich didn’t talk about it, I don’t think it’s likely we’ll see anything major on additional accountability. The bottom line for me is this: The additional revenue appears to be coming from one-time state money. Districts are on notice: They have two years to raise more revenue or cut more programming. And if they don’t, it’s their fault for not preparing. Even though the state has $1 billion in a rainy day fund, is looking to establish a new severance tax on oil and gas extraction, and is said to be looking at closing some of the $7 billion of tax expenditures Ohio has, don’t worry. It appears very little of it will be invested long term in schools. And that is devastating.
Tagged in these Policy Areas: K-12 Education