Ohio School Funding Reform Vital in 2021

It was in 1997 that the Ohio Supreme Court ruled the state’s system of funding public education was unconstitutional. Since then, attempt after attempt to come up with an adequate replacement has come up short.

High hopes were expressed for a solution late last year, but General Assembly members admitted defeat in December. Leading lawmakers pledged the matter will get priority this year.

Let us hope so. Thoughtful, realistic changes have been proposed. One example is to tie state funding to a school district’s real ability to fund its own schools. That could be done by taking not just property tax valuations into account, but also factoring in local income levels.

Many school districts in East Ohio could benefit from state funding formula changes such as those contemplated last year.

Why it has taken nearly a quarter-century to rectify shortcomings in the state public education funding formula is beyond us — with the caveat that, as usual, politics is to blame. This year, doing the right thing for Ohio children needs to be the priority.


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