Citizens For A Better Norwood

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Study says Ohio needs billions for higher teacher pay/training, longer sessions

Today’s Enquirer reports the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation funded a University of Washington study that “attempts to place a price tag ($2.4 to $4.8 billion) on the cost of providing a world-class public education to Ohio students.” It’s one of three recent studies on Ohio school funding Gov. Strickland and the legislature are looking at as they consider the state’s operating budget, which is to be presented next week. The article ends with, “Strickland has said the document is unlikely to contain his blueprint for repairing Ohio's school-funding, which has been deemed unconstitutional repeatedly by the Ohio Supreme Court for its over-reliance on property taxes.” Apparently, the constitutional amendment addressing education on this November’s ballot statewide will cost $1.8 billion over two years if it passes. And after that? Anybody know how these billions are going to be funded...or care to hazard a guess?

3/8/07 UPDATE: Food for thought: maybe a drop or two in the buckets of billions needed for school funding will come from money saved with Gov. Strickland’s freeze on taxpayer-funded meals in Columbus. Today’s Enquirer reports the single biggest spender/offender is the Ohio Department of Education, with $358,000 worth of meal expenses. ODE spokesman J.C. Benton defended the practice, in part, by saying all the expenses were previously approved by state budget officials. That's at least as comforting as when our former local BOE approved the $9,000+ Rider retirement parties a few years back and vigorously defended their decision, too. Even so, it's simply unimaginable NCS would ever again charge taxpayers for free meals for public employees and others after the furor over those two events.