Education funding last on state’s agenda

Voters, please pay attention. The Ohio House Leadership is throwing away your child’s future. Whether you have a child, a grandchild or simply care about the public schools; Ohio is once again putting education last on the agenda.

As reported in the April 24 article in the Marietta Times, Speaker of the Ohio House Larry Householder’s refusal to bring the Fair School Funding Plan to the floor for assignment to a committee undermines a genuine effort to fix school funding in Ohio. The Fair School Funding Plan crafted by a bipartisan group chaired by Rep. Robert Cupp (R) and Rep. John Patterson (D) would finally move Ohio away from the current inefficient and discriminatory school funding formula which relies on property tax and fails to consider the actual cost of education.

A child’s right to an equitable and adequate education should not depend on where they live.

The smaller districts in Ohio deserve to have a funding formula that takes into account the cost of educating a child in poverty and recognizes that in areas that are rich in natural resources, such as Wayne National Forest in Washington County, the property tax base is NOT sufficient to support our schools. Furthermore, due to the scarcity of high-paying jobs the ability of the taxpayers to make up the low property valuation with local levy taxes is diminished.

While the plan as proposed by Rep. Patterson and Rep. Cupp may not be perfect, it deserves an open reading, testimony in committee and revision as needed. Please write Speaker Larry Householder at 77 S. High St. Columbus, OH 43215 and let him know that you want the plan to have a hearing during the current session. A call to local representatives Don Jones at 614-644-8728 or Jay Edwards at 614-466-2158 would also be in order.

Teresa R. Porter