REGISTER VIEWPOINT: Keep up the heat on school funding

School districts across the region will go back to voters again this fall asking them to approve tax levies and trying to convince t
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010

School districts across the region will go back to voters again this fall asking them to approve tax levies and trying to convince them of the dire circumstances in play that threaten the quality and viability of public education.

Those circumstances are real, but if the recent past is prologue many backers of school levies will once again be disappointed. For the better part of a decade, voters have made it clear: No new taxes.

There's nothing on the flip side, however, and voters have given state legislators an absolute pass on their responsibility to fix a broken funding system. It's been more than 12 years since the Ohio Supreme Court ruled the property tax school funding method unconstitutional. The court reiterated that decision twice more and ordered lawmakers to devise a new funding system that would be equitable and benefit all Ohio public school students.

More than 500 of the 613 school districts in the state joined the lawsuit that led to that ruling, but not unlike voters, the Supreme Court justices later decided to give lawmakers a pass and overturned the ruling without forcing any reform.

Here's the bottom line: If you vote against the schools that's your right, but you also have a responsibility to demand that your elected representatives fulfill their obligations and create a funding system that works.

Politicians rarely respond to anything that isn't burning them. It is easier to let this issue slip quietly from the agenda each session than to make the hard, unpopular decisions that are required to fix this mess. Make this a painful issue for your representatives.

Call them, weekly, write them, monthly, and keep our children's future in front of them. The contact information is in the "Write your Officials" column on this page.