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Ohio's school-funding scheme must be changed



Published: Fri, July 27, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



Ohio's school-funding scheme must be changed

EDITOR:

For Vindicator readers who once knew and have forgotten or those who never understood at all, Communism is a system of total authoritarian government, whereby all goods and personal property are controlled by the state, then professed to be distributed equitably to all of the people.

Here in Ohio, the school-funding plan doesn't go so far as to be hard-core Communism, but past and present Ohio governors and legislators have opted to take millions of tax dollars from higher-wealth school districts and redistribute those dollars to lower-wealth neighborhoods.

Funding schemes like Ohio's have often been referred to as "Robin Hood" plans in many other states of the union. To date, 25 of the 50 states have been taken to court over school-funding reform.

Ohio legislators saw this education dilemma coming years ago and slyly responded by passing every-six-year re-evaluation laws. What these mandates do basically is increase the tax burden for Ohio property owners automatically every six years without going through the voting and levy passage process.

Worried that the voters would toss a whole bunch of them out of office on the next election day over the automatic tax increase (flimflam; deception; bilking; shuffling; take your choice), the legislators allowed that private appraising organizations should do the dirty work and take the taxpayers' wrath. Private appraising groups in each county could, in their collective opinions, invoke cop-out statements like, "area economic changes and sales of neighboring properties," to increase the property values to whatever level they pleased. When tied in with village and township tax abatements, many of Ohio's schools find themselves in a very costly and losing situation.

The reality is that Ohio property owners deemed "wealthy" by the various county auditors' offices and outside appraisers have three choices:

1. Accept the findings and continue to pay the lion's share for all Ohio schools.

2. Vote local levies down and redistrict their schools into the poorer areas.

3. Vote out all the foot-dragging state legislators who refuse or are incapable of coming up with a fair and workable school-funding plan.

DAVID E. METZLER

North Jackson

Prayer of Jabez not about increased material wealth

EDITOR:

I believe that Clark Morphew did not read the book, "The Prayer of Jabez," carefully, if at all.

This book is not about the material benefits if we "ask Jesus correctly." It is about "enlarging one's territory" through prayer, study of scripture and putting what we learn into action in service to others.

It also concerns "enlarging" our positive influence on others.

To address one of his other concerns -- the fact that Bruce Wilkinson earned money from his book -- I'm sure Mr. Morphew is paid for writing his newspaper column.

Mary Hornickle

Youngstown

Valley probably needs to elect more women judges

EDITOR:

I've said it before, and I'll say it again, "Judges, do your job."

All I hear from Millich and Douglas are excuses -- not reasons, excuses.

Maybe we need more women as judges. Judges Kolby and Cronin seem to get the job done.

See you at the polls.

DICK LOWE

Youngstown




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