After 24 years, school funding issue must end

Ohio residents want to know they are getting their money’s worth, whether it be on a shopping trip or when sending their hard-earned tax money to Columbus. According to researchers at WalletHub, there are a few areas of concern, on the state government front.

In its report “Best and Worst Taxpayer Return on Investment in 2021,” WalletHub placed the Buckeye State sixth in the nation in terms of overall return on investment, which is admirable. Most of the more specific marks for state government services ranged from mediocre to encouraging: total taxes per capita put Ohio 12th in the nation, health was 25th, safety was 17th, economy was 25th, infrastructure and pollution was 22nd.

But Ohio’s quality and efficiency of state government services when it comes to education was ranked 31st in the report. There are 30 other states to which families could move to ensure their kids get a better education for the money. That must improve, both in terms of the amount of money wasted by public education, and the quality of the education received in our public school systems.

Ohio lawmakers who still have not decided on a new, equitable state school funding formula, should take note. They can do something about numbers like that, if they decide it is important.

It’s been nearly 25 years since the Ohio Supreme Court declared in the DeRolph decision that Ohio’s school finance system was in violation of Ohio’s constitutional obligation to provide a thorough and efficient system of common schools throughout the state.

Now Ohio House Bill 1, known as the “Fair School Funding Plan,” could repair Ohio’s broken school funding program. Incredibly, the bill is being supported by the Buckeye Association of School Administrators, the Ohio Association of School Business Officials, the Ohio School Boards Association, the Ohio School Counselor Association, the Ohio Education Association, the Ohio Federation of Teachers, and others.

The bill remains under discussion in the Ohio House committees. We urge our legislators to work hard to find a resolution for Ohio’s ongoing school funding problems, whether it be with this HB 1, or some other legislation. Whatever the case, the funding issue cannot continue to drag on indefinitely.

If legislators continue to drag out the process, one can hardly blame families who decide to move (or stay) elsewhere to do the best they can for their kids.



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