Gov. John Kasich released his much-anticipated education plan last week – a plan he once boasted would be the best in the country. Its hallmark was the claim that it would fix Ohio’s disparity in property wealth by having the State pick up the cost to bring all districts up to $250,000 in per pupil valuation on 20 mills – a measure reached by just 4% of Ohio districts on their own. It sounded great – nearly every district would get more money, and the poorest would get the most. He even received plaudits from many media members. However, reality has proven otherwise. Looking at Kasich’s own district-by-district runs released yesterday, poor districts actually fare worse than wealthy. According to administration figures, for every dollar going to a kid in the property richest school districts, just 25 cents goes to the property poorest districts. [Read more…]
If Gov. John Kasich’s latest two-year state budget proposal proves one thing, it is this: Most Ohioans don’t have a friend in Columbus. If you’re a high income earner, the governor is on your side. If you’re a bigwig at a Big Oil & Gas firm, the governor is your humble servant. If you are a charter school cheat, looting public education – John Kasich is your wheelman. If you’re looking for relief or a leveling of the playing field – you’re out of luck. There are still bills to be dropped, hearings to be held and a months-long political process to watch and to participate in on Capitol Square. Innovation Ohio will be unpacking the issues below in greater detail in the coming days and weeks. The state budget is about taxing and spending, but it’s also a huge collection of public policy changes. It’s a document that can be forward looking and which offers a plan to put public money into to the public’s interest. What we’re seeing so far is ideological dogma, little that speaks to the future and lots of your money flowing in the wrong directions. [Read more…]
Research OverviewGovernor Kasich’s first two-year budget cut funding to education by $1.8 billion over the previous two year period. 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. Though the data was difficult to uncover, Innovation Ohio has succeeded in calculating the number of “new money” levies appearing on local ballots since Gov. Kasich introduced his budget in March, 2011. The numbers are staggering. Since May 2011, Ohio voters have considered an unprecedented $1.1 billion in new property and income taxes for schools. Voters passed just over 40% of that amount, approving school levies equal to $487 million in new taxes.
For Immediate Release: January 29, 2013 Contact: Dale Butland, 614-783-5833
Kasich Budget Cuts = $1.1 Billion in School Levies IO Blows Whistle on “Kasich Shell Game”Columbus – Innovation Ohio, a progressive think tank headquartered in Columbus, released an analysis today proving what Kasich Administration critics have long suspected: the Governor has merely shifted the responsibility for adequately funding Ohio schools from the state to the local level. Specifically, IO’s analysis finds that since May, 2011, a record-breaking $1.1 billion in local property and income tax levies earmarked for schools has appeared on local ballots. Voters approved just 40% – or $487 million – leaving numerous school districts across the state scrambling to maintain needed academic programs and staffing levels. IO stressed that the $1.1 billion figure includes only new operating money, not renewal or replacement levies or money for capital projects. [Read more…]
Democrats in the Ohio Senate were the first out of the gate to unveil their list of priority legislation, holding a press conference today in Columbus to promote bills they will be introducing in the 130th General Assembly. [Read more…]
I wrote yesterday about the many aspects of Wednesday’s Ohio House Committee hearing on education funding that I thought were positive. The witnesses who testified were four of the pillars of American conservative education reform – Eric Hanushek of the Hoover Institution, Rick Hess from the American Enterprise Institute, Students First (Michelle Rhee’s group) and Marguerite Roza of the Center for Reinventing Public Education at the University of Washington, which provided the blueprint for the Cleveland Plan. I repeat that it is unfortunate similar pillars on the more progressive side of the issue, like Diane Ravitch of New York University, or Linda Darling-Hammond of Stanford have yet to be consulted. While there were a few positive pieces of Wednesday’s testimony, there were significant concerns as well: [Read more…]