Citizens For A Better Norwood

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Ohio group pushing for November school funding amendment

Today’s Enquirer reports The Getting it Right for Ohio’s Future group has collected five times the number of signatures needed to get a constitutional amendment on the November 6 ballot that will change how public schools are funded. Backers include the Ohio Education Association teachers union.

Key features:

1.) Shift much of the tax burden from local property owners to the state, but did not specify how that money would be raised.

2.) Determine levels of funding based on student classroom needs, location and demographic circumstances of pupils.

3.) Exempt seniors and disabled citizens from paying property taxes on the first $40,000 market value of their homes.

4.) Create a nine-member commission, appointed by the governor and legislative leaders, to oversee the school funding system.

The article adds, "The Ohio Supreme Court, in four separate decisions, has ruled that Ohio's system of funding public school districts is inequitable and unconstitutional. But the legislature has not come up with a new way to finance schools, including what critics say is the system's overreliance on property taxes."

Is it too much to hope this amendment could simultaneously solve Ohio's school funding dilemma and provide homeowners with some property tax relief?

1/23/07 UPDATE: Talk about opposing this amendment! The Enquirer’s Peter Bronson says this “Education petition is poison” in today’s editorial: