Ohio is projected to spend smallest share on education since 1996-97
The Ohio Legislative Service Commission has measured Ohio’s historic commitment to K-12 education using a spreadsheet located here. What they find is telling. The current budget bill (House Bill 153) represents the smallest commitment to K-12 education (as a percentage of the total state budget) since the 1996-1997 budget, which happens to be the last budget before the Ohio Supreme Court first ruled that Ohio’s school funding system was unconstitutional — the first of four times they were to rule that way.
And if one looks to 1991, when the DeRolph case was first filed, the amount spent then would represent about $5.2 billion in today’s money, or about $3.5 billion less than today’s appropriation levels.
Also interesting is this: FY10 — the first year of the previous governor’s last budget — represented the largest share of the state budget going to education in over a quarter century (since FY83).
What the LSC data demonstrate is this: When it comes to school funding in Ohio, there is not so much a money problem as there is a commitment problem.
For more information on current Ohio education funding issues please check out IO’s Education Fellow Stephen Dyer’s recent testimony in front of the Ohio State Senate Finance Committee.