Saturday, February 27, 1999

What the state did, didn't do

        The Ohio Supreme Court ruled the school-funding system was unconstitutional because of the following:

        • Unfairness of the School Foundation Program.

        • Emphasis on local property taxes.

        • Districts required to borrow money.

        • Lack of facilities funding.

        Here's what the General Assembly did:

• Increased spending per student to $3,851, which rises to $4,414 in four years.

        • Provided a larger subsidy for special education and transportation.

        • Enacted tougher academic standards and created “report cards” detailing the performance of every school.

        • Required that districts set aside 13 percent of budget for textbooks, maintenance and finan cial emergencies.

        • Approved all-day kindergarten and smaller class sizes in early grades.

        • Set aside more than $1.6 billion to assist with building repair and replacement.

        Here's what the General Assembly didn't do:

• Didn't adopt expert's recommendation of spending $4,269 per pupil.

        • Failed to design a completely new funding formula.

        • Didn't provide funding for new state requirements.

        • Didn't eliminate disparities between wealthy and poor districts.

        • Barely made a dent in a $16 billion facilities problem.

        • Districts in fiscal trouble still required to borrow money.

        • Many districts still rely on property taxes for more than half their revenue.

Ohio fails school-funding test
Chronology of Ohio school funding
Levies aren't the answer, educators say
- What the state did, didn't do

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