Last week, Getting It Right for Ohio announced it is launching a petition drive to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot in the November to change and, in its view, fix school funding. The proposed amendment to the state constitution would give the State School Board the power to set the "actual cost" of providing a quality education for every public school student in Ohio. The Ohio General Assembly would then be required to come up with the money.
Still, the proposed amendment is very vague on how this would actually happen, and that will very likely ultimately doom the proposal.
It is as vague on details and follow-through as the smoking ban. This is one reason why the legislature should fix the problem itself. The education fix should not come from the electorate in the form of a referendum. We have seen with the smoking ban how troublesome letting people decide laws can be. Not everything is thought through. Implementation of the plan is shaky at best.
It has been 12 years since the Ohio Supreme Court declared education funding in the state to be unconstitutional.
The legislature has been ordered to find a solution to the problem, yet it refuses to do anything.
Our first choice is for the legislature to solve the problem but this proposal is at least a step in the right direction. Give the General Assembly some responsibility.
In truth, they have already been given responsibility by the Supreme Court but have ignored that. Maybe they will listen to voters.
We like some aspects of the proposal. The state board of education seems as good an organization as any to decide what a fair education is. And again, we like that the legislature has a prescribed role. This proposal says lawmakers must figure out how to fund education but does not say how. That is the big mystery in Ohio. That is what we need answered.
We like that someone is thinking about education in Ohio, but the onus needs to be on the legislature, not the voters.