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Education


Ohio education cuts mean local tax hikes
Innovation Ohio maintains Kasich's previous cuts to education has deepened a reliance on local property tax for schools
by WKSU's STATEHOUSE CORRESPONDENT BILL COHEN


Reporter
Bill Cohen
 
A bit of irony: Ohio Senate officials caught this spelling error on a newly printed sign before it was posted. It was meant for a new subcommittee that will focus on funding for schools and colleges.
Courtesy of Bill Cohen
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In The Region:

As Republican Gov. John Kasich prepares to unveil his own plan for changing the way Ohio pays for schools, debate continues to flare over what the current two-year state budget has meant for schools. Activists on the political left say it’s been a disaster, and they contend their new study proves it. Statehouse correspondent Bill Cohen reports.

Cohen on school tax shift

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Cohen on school tax shift short version

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Related Links & Resources
Gov. Kasich plans a school funding virtual town hall Thursday

Innovation Ohio says Gov. Kasich shifted tax burdens from the state to local level

Listener Comments:

I listened to this story on my way to work today, and was disheartened by the facts regarding state education funding that were skewed in the reporting. It was especially disheartening in the wake of yesterday's interesting and informative WKSU reporting about Nate DeRolph, whose work spurred several Ohio Supreme Court decisions about our state's inability to fund our public education system adequately and fairly.

I have an interest in this story because I am the parent of three children attending public schools in a restructued School District due to enormous reductions in state education funding.

State Senator Peggy Lehner commented that cuts in education were due largely to recession and a decline in federal stimulus dollars. Many cuts in state funding were due to the recession. What is not stated, is that the federal stimulus dollars were never meant to be relied upon on a long-term basis. They were given to Ohio and other states as a temporary measure because the nation was in a recession. And, they helped tremendously - preventing many teaching and education-related jobs not to be lost even at the height of the recession.

The federal stimulus dollars accomplished what they were set out to do. Even given the temporary nature of the federal stimulus dollars, the most recent data available on the State's Ohio Department of Education website (2010-11) shows that federal revenue as a share of total revenue in my School District continues to increase and is at its highest level ever.

State Senator Peggy Lehner neglects to take responsibility for the state funding that school districts and municipalities lost because of her decisions and those of her colleagues in the legislature. One decision was to eliminate the TPPT (tangible personal property tax), a local revenue source collected by the state and returned largely to the School Districts and municipalities that generated it. These school districts and municipalities relied on TPPT revenue to finance large portions of their school and city budgets. My School District has had many cuts as a result of this lost revenue source, and my city has proposed an increase in our local income tax because of the loss of this state revenue source.

State Senator Peggy Lehner asked Innovation Ohio "to stop looking back and look ahead" regarding state spending on public education. Clearly, we cannot stop looking back because it affects what is happening today. My school district will continue to lose state funding for many more years given the phase out of the TPPT tax. It was her past actions and her legislative colleagues who cut our sources of education revenue, which hurt schools in the past, and continues to hurt schools today - in lost teaching jobs, in school closings, and in lost school programs.


Posted by: Theresa (Wooster, OH) on January 30, 2013 8:01AM
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