School funding does not keep pace with inflation

In an article in the Marietta Times last week, our Ohio Representative Andy Thompson wrote: “Most schools throughout my district have seen a tremendous surge in school revenue as a result of collections from property taxes.”

As a member of the Marietta City School Board, I would like to clarify that the Marietta City School district has not seen any significant increase in funding from property taxes. In fact, our funding does not even keep pace with inflation, and our declining enrollment means that we will continue to see a decrease in funding every year for the foreseeable future. The picture is not rosy.

A generation ago, state taxes were collected from the wealthy parts of the state and those tax dollars were spent to level the playing field, and many older Mariettans will remember this time fondly. The school buildings were new and the teachers were well paid. The system worked.

In this generation, the state legislature has chosen to lower state taxes, and that decision has starved the school district here in Marietta. They claimed that lowering state taxes would fuel growth, but that growth has been concentrated in the cities. Sadly, many of our best students are now forced to move to Columbus or another big city to find opportunities. Columbus enjoys the benefit of hard working and well educated young people produced by the Marietta school district and yet refuses to pay adequately for that benefit.

Zane Lazer, MD



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