Ohio Fair School Funding Plan

Education Organizations Support Fair Funding Proposal
Posted on 04/30/2019
Image of Ohio Fair School Funding Plan LogoEducation Organizations Support Fair Funding Proposal
New plan is based upon 'what students actually need ... for success'

Four of Ohio's most influential and prestigious education organizations have declared their support for concepts incorporated in the recently announced Fair Funding Plan for Ohio's K-12 public schools.

The plan is a comprehensive bipartisan remake of Ohio's current, but frequently discredited, funding formula. It is also the product of 18 months of concentrated volunteer efforts by a group of active school superintendents and treasurers under the leadership of state representatives Bob Cupp (R-Lima) and John Patterson (D-Jefferson).

The executive committee of the Ohio Association of School Business Officials (OASBO) -- whose members are treasurers, CFOs and business managers of the state's school districts, Education Service Centers and Career Tech Centers -- unanimously adopted a resolution endorsing the plan's process, goals and objectives.

According to Executive Director Jim Rowan, "Our current funding system is seriously flawed, and most of its provisions have no objectively determined relationship to cost or need. The Fair Funding Plan is based upon what students actually need to prepare for success. We believe it is fair for students and taxpayers, eliminates arbitrary caps on funding increases, reduces artificial guarantees, and respects local control." Rowan added, "The members of the OASBO Board of Directors believe this truly comprehensive plan to be rational, fair, transparent and easy to understand. They voted unanimously to endorse its process, goals and objectives and further believe that the plan should be adopted in its entirety."

Melissa Cropper, president of the Ohio Federation of Teachers (OFT), says the current formula has failed. "Our current school funding formula fails students, parents and taxpayers. It is not based on, and therefore fails to provide, the programs and services students need to succeed." She also said of the current formula, "It has been declared unconstitutional multiple times because the reliance on property taxes unfairly benefits districts with higher property values while leaving much of the state behind. Additionally, more than 80 percent of Ohio's school districts are currently receiving either the capped or guaranteed levels of funding, making the details of the current formula moot. That's why Ohio teachers, parents and students should be excited about the proposed school funding formula that Cupp and Patterson released last week."

Kirk Hamilton, the executive Director of the Buckeye Association of School Administrators (BASA) -- the statewide superintendents' organization -- said his members commend representatives Cupp and Patterson for undertaking such a daunting task and salute the members of the Fair Funding work group for their significant contributions to an extremely formidable project. He specifically mentioned his members' support for the plan's base cost calculation which incorporates actual cost data when identifying essential components of a quality education. He also pointed out his members' insistence that the plan include adequate, targeted supplemental assistance for subgroups of students who need additional resources.

Lastly, the Ohio Education Association (OEA) represents more than 121,000 teachers, faculty members and support professionals who work in Ohio's schools, colleges and universities to help improve public education and the lives of Ohio's children. President Becky Higgins said, "OEA welcomes the Fair School Funding Plan's focus on what students need to receive a high-quality education. It is built around the importance of supporting classroom instruction as well as making sure Ohio public school students can learn in a safe and secure environment and have access to state-of-the-art technology."

Representatives Cupp and Patterson acknowledged the important role played by BASA, OASBO, OEA and OFT in the legislative process and indicated that their expressions of support for the Fair Funding plan would be helpful in the coming weeks as the General Assembly prepares to make its budget decisions for the new biennium.

For additional information, contact State Representative John Patterson at 614.466.1405 or Jim Betts at 614.565.0591.

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