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Citizens urged to stop privatizing public education

Published: Mon, May 7, 2012 @ 9:06 p.m.

Citizens urged to stop privatizing public education


To stop privatization of public education, citizens need to become active.

“Go to hearings, send 10 million emails to the governor and the legislators,” William L. Phillis, executive director of the Ohio Coalition for Equity and Adequacy of School Funding, told about 200 people at Boardman High School Monday.

Phillis was a speaker at a public forum sponsored by township schools and the Mahoning County Educational Service Center.

Chief topics were charter schools and vouchers, both of which take money from public school districts, presenters said.

Nearly $780 million in state funding went to charter schools in fiscal year 2012 including $21 million from Youngstown, $696,000 from Austintown and $683,000 from Boardman school districts.

Even though the Ohio Supreme Court has declared the state’s school funding system unconstitutional because it relies too heavily on local property taxes, the system remains in place.

Steve Dyer, Education Policy Fellow at Innovation Ohio, pointed out that while state funding for traditional public schools in Ohio has decreased, it’s increased for charter schools — even though more than half of the former earn at least an A on state report cards, compared to nearly half of charter schools in Ohio earning D’s or F’s on the report card.

Public schools have to either cut programs or seek property tax increases to make up the difference, Dyer said.

Read more on Vindy.com and in Tuesday’s Vindicator.

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