Kasich says Ohio school plan student-focused

Gov. John Kasich said Thursday that his long-awaited education funding overhaul is focused on giving students an even chance to compete.
Associated Press
Jan 31, 2013


The Republican governor also said he believes the plan being unveiled later Thursday will pass constitutional muster. The Ohio Supreme Court has ruled that the state relied too much on property taxes, which can vary widely between rich and poor districts.

"This is a plan that says that every student in any part of the state, regardless of what kind of district they come from, should be given the resources to be able to compete with a child across the state," Kasich told a legislative preview organized for journalists by The Associated Press.

Kasich stopped short of disclosing any specifics, but added: "I think you'll be surprised by the depth, the content of the plan." He said it will "strip all the politics out," and focus on directing dollars to classrooms and resources for districts that need the most help.

The Republican governor planned to discuss the plan's details Thursday afternoon with school superintendents gathered in suburban Columbus, and then in an online town hall at 6 p.m. that allows members of the public to submit questions. His proposal is expected to kick off months of debate over the best direction for Ohio — decisions on funding Ohio's 613 school districts and 353 charter schools are likely to affect many tax bills, home values and the quality of the education children receive.

There was already criticism from some Democrats and teacher union officials that Kasich hadn't involved them in development of his plan. David Romick, president of the Dayton Education Association, said local districts are facing increased burdens for passing new levies for funding at a time when many households are budget-pressed.

"In this economy, many communities simply can't afford the tax levies that are necessary," Romick said Thursday.

Kasich has previously hinted at broad ideas that he favors besides changing the existing school-funding formula. Those include enhanced parental control, public school district funds that follow the poorest children when they choose a different education option, and monetary rewards for teachers whose students show measurable improvement.

After Cleveland's plan for transforming its struggling schools was passed last year on a bipartisan basis, Kasich took the unusual step of publicly endorsing the accompanying school levy needed to fund the changes that include making student performance a key factor in deciding teacher pay and eliminating seniority as a determining factor in layoffs.

Statehouse Democratic Reps. Teresa Fedor, Debbie Phillips and Matt Lundy on Wednesday said they want to see more money for pre-school and all-day kindergarten, which they said has been key to education advances in other states; a formula that helps districts avoid so many local levy requests; and greater accountability to the public for for-profit charter schools. The Ohio Federation of Teachers called those ideas "spot on."

Ohio has been effectively without a school funding formula since 2009.

Kasich scrapped Democratic predecessor Ted Strickland's attempt at a solution, an "evidence-based model" criticized as theoretical and unfunded. While Kasich initially predicted he'd have his formula ready by October 2011, it's taken him more than an additional year to come up with a plan.

In the two decades since the Ohio Supreme Court first declared the state's school funding system unconstitutional, many other attempts at a workable solution have been made.

One plan looked to spending by academically successful schools as the benchmark for districts statewide. Another sent a set amount per student to each district, with additional weight given to how many pupils a district had in poverty or in special programs. Strickland's plan identified education strategies that were scientifically proven to work, then tried phasing them in over time.

According to legislative budget analysts, primary and secondary education accounted for almost 42 percent of state general revenue spending in fiscal 2011 and 40 percent in fiscal 2012.

While the state has waited for a new formula, Ohio school districts have continued to receive what they got in 2009 with a few adjustments that included assurances that no district receive less than in the previous fiscal year, and extra money for those demonstrating excellence. It's called the "bridge formula."




Oh well, everybody else has tried to solve the school funding problem so why not hear Kasich and know that his sooner or later will be tossed out on the junk pile like all the rest. Every Governor or legislator is going to solve the school funding problem and nobody yet has solved it from what we currenly have.

If we all had a $1 for every Governor's and legislators promise to solve school funding we all would be rich.

2cents's picture

Lets hope something will help the children move ahead. $$ never taught a child anything if they do not want to learn. It starts at the core, and that is parenting, do not expect our teachers to be parents as well, they have enough to do when you send your children to school with a bad atitude.


School funding?

IMO, a "part" of the solution would be to:

End the personal and business state income tax and replace it with a reasonable consumption tax system.

The states of KS, NE, LA & IN are all in the process.

The Big Dog's back

Worst idea ever.


Still afraid you will have to pay your fair share huh...

The Big Dog's back

I.m not afraid that I'll have to pay my fair share, the rich won't pay their fair share.


They pay their fair share. Just not what Progressives think it should be.
Jealousy is such an ugly thing...

The Big Dog's back

Where do the top 1% shop? Ohio? Yeah right.


@Big...Wake up call.....the top 10% of earners pay nearly 90% of the Federal tax collected each year. Once again, you just do not know anything. Try again #fail.


Consumption tax = sales tax? I thought the luxury sales tax didn't work.


Sales tax yes. Luxury tax was only on items over a certain value.
John Kerry is quite familiar with those. He did his best to avoid them on his new yacht.


I'd just be happy to know that all parents are child/student focused. Then the school teachers and students could really make progress.