Ohio Governor Plans for School Changes

By
Real Estate Agent with America's 1st Choice RH Realty Co., Inc.

pic

The Ohio Supreme Court ruled Ohio's system of education was unconstitutional years ago.  In fact, that ruling came down while I was still active as and educator/school administrator.  I retired from public education in August, 2000 and the state continued to ignore the Ohio Supreme Court ruling; until now (January 28, 2009).

You and I, as private citizens, would be in a whole lot of "hot water" should we even dare to ignore a local court order let alone one from the state's highest court.  I guess state governments are "above the law!"

But that's water over the dam(n) "oops!"

Governor Strickland today called for a complete overhaul of the state's school funding system.  The Governor's plan would call for the state to assume 55% of the school's funding (it is expected to grow to 59% by the time his plan is fully implemented).  When I was involved with public education the state funded education at a 47% level; during my time in public education that funding level dropped to 40% (maybe lower).

More and more of the burden of funding public schools was placed on individual home owners and that was a critical part of the Supreme Court ruling that found Ohio's school funding system unconstitutional.  Despite the court's ruling, the state continued to shift more of the burden (for school funding) to home owners.

Since local school taxes in Ohio are one of the few taxes voters have a say in at the polls, these taxes issues were largely voted down in many of Ohio's communities.  The result was serious financial difficulties by Ohio's schools and drastic cuts required to remain fiscally responsible.  This was done at the same time when Ohio (and No Child Left Behind) demanded higher standards and presented serious consequences for "failing" schools.  It was a vicious cycle and one that did not go without "pain."

Governor Strickland also outlined a number of measures that will be taken:

  • The school year will be increased from 180 to 200 days
  • All day kindergarten will be required
  • The Ohio Graduation Test will be eliminated and will be replaced by the ACT college entrance exam
  • School districts will be audited by the Department of Education to determine how well they are performing against state performance standards
  • The State will take control of school districts that do not comply with new state academic standards as well as operating standards; the state will replace district leaders as well

There are other provisions in Governor Strickland's plan.  Whether or not it will impact Ohio's schools is a matter yet to be seen but at least it's the first attempt in Ohio to address the Ohio Supreme Court's ruling of many years ago.

 

http://www/JonWHome.com

close

This entry hasn't been re-blogged:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
Location:
Ohio
Groups:
The Lounge at Active Rain
Almost Anything Goes
Dedicated Bloggers
Geneva Chervenic Agents
Addicted to Active Rain
Tags:
school funding
ohio schools
changes in ohio

Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Rainmaker
594,925
Laura Giannotta
Keller Williams Realty - Atlantic Shore - Little Egg Harbor, NJ
Your Realtor Down the Shore!

Jon, take a look at school funding in NJ...we've been going round and round with the State Supreme Court for decades and still have problems!  Interesting to find out we in the Garden State are not alone!

Jan 29, 2009 12:22 AM #2
Rainer
132,369
Jon Wnoroski
America's 1st Choice RH Realty Co., Inc. - Green, OH
Summit County Realtor

Hi Laura - When the Ohio case was first decided and then went through the various courts all the way to the state Supreme Court we were told the state would refuse to make changes.  In fact, historically across the country, state governments have refused to adhere to court orders.  It was no surprise that Ohio's government followed suit.  I am still amazed that the legislative body as well as the governor's office can refuse to adhere to court rulings with no consequence.  It appears they are above the law, unfortunately.  In the meantime, tax payers suffer by having to bear the lion's share of the burden for funding schools.  The public has responded by refusing to pass school levies causing many districts to fall into financial turmoil.

The bottom line, in my view, is that our elected officials have not been very responsible leaders.  However, we keep putting them all back into power.

Jan 29, 2009 01:12 AM #3
Rainmaker
211,082
Renae Bolton
Marketing 4 Realtors - Garfield Heights, OH
I'm your Professional Real Estate Marketing VA!

We've tried everything imaginable to support our school district in Garfield Heights but it seems every time we vote, there is yet another levy to support the schools.  As a result of all these levies, our property taxes have risen considerably.  It will be nice to see something happen to help in this situation.

As for schools increasing an additional 20 days, I'm all for that.  I'm in agreement with giving my children as much education as they can get.

I also agree that the Ohio Graduation Test should be eliminated but what about the kids who don't plan to go to college.  I don't get why the ACT should be mandatory.  (Can you tell I'm not for standardized testing?)

Thanks for this great information!

~Renae

Jan 29, 2009 05:50 AM #4
Rainer
132,369
Jon Wnoroski
America's 1st Choice RH Realty Co., Inc. - Green, OH
Summit County Realtor

Hi Renae - I haven't seen the full text of the Governor's education plan.  I'm not sure if the ACTwill be a graduation requirement as the OGT was but it does appear that all graduating students (even those who are not college bound) will have to take the ACT.  I'm sure we'll get clarification on this soon.

As a former educator I also favor the additional 20 days of instruction.  That can only be of benefit to students through the years.  The other side of that coin (and you will hear school superintendents speak of this) is the issue of how those extra days are going to be funded.  Politicians are notorious for mandating things that make them look good but fail to provide funding.  The lack of funding with each new measure that works itself into the framework of our public education system further places financial burden on school district.

Districts that are fortunate to have full community support generally survive and can maintain important programs.  Those that are not as fortunate are forced to make budget cuts that may lead to eliminating programs and possibly closing buildings; none of which is a positive thing.

I enjoyed reading yor comments and truly hope our government will do the right thing to help our children have the education benefits they need and deserve.  It was good hearing from you!

Jan 29, 2009 06:08 AM #5
Rainmaker
211,082
Renae Bolton
Marketing 4 Realtors - Garfield Heights, OH
I'm your Professional Real Estate Marketing VA!

We pay for so much already at our school because of funding issues.  There's a $50 school fee for each child each school year.  There are also fees for extra curricular activities such as sports (you pay to play) and music (we have to support the music department or there won't be one).  Granted, we don't mind but my parents, who don't have any children in school, feel even more burdened by the rising taxes to help support the schools.

I'm in complete agreement about the government forcing situations and then not supporting them. Hopefully we won't have that issue here.  Education is so important.  You'd think that would be one of the first things the government puts money up for.  They can give billions of dollars to other countries, they can give billions of dollars to car companies, but they can't support schools and educational programs.  It is unbelievable.

We'll see what happens though!  Thanks for your thoughts!

~Renae

Jan 29, 2009 06:49 AM #6
Rainmaker
518,143
Daniel J. Brudnok, REALTOR
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Fox & Roach, REALTORS - Exton - PA License #RS-225179-L / Delaware License #RS-0025038 - Downingtown, PA
SRES, e-PRO,ABR,GREEN,CSP

Jon,

EVERY school district has its set of issue's, and money is at the root of every one of them......there has to be some formula that will aide these district's....we have to provide for our future leader's in the best possible way.

Feb 01, 2009 11:14 PM #7
Rainer
132,369
Jon Wnoroski
America's 1st Choice RH Realty Co., Inc. - Green, OH
Summit County Realtor

Hi Dan - You're right.  We certainly want our education leaders to be good stewards of the money they have available and operate their districts as efficiently as possible.  Funding formulas around the country are different in many ways but the common thread seems to be "unfunded mandates" by the state legislative bodies (and yes, even the federal government).  In Ohio the lion's share of the burden has been placed on home owners.  Historically, that burden in Ohio has increased over the past 10 years.

I agree, there has to be a funding formula that works for everyone.  Our children are our future and we have to provide the best possible education system for them as possible.

Feb 01, 2009 11:23 PM #8
Ambassador
754,919
Mike Jones
SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) - Tucson, AZ
Mike Jones NMLS 223495

Jon,

I stopped by to thank you for rooting for the Arizona Cardinals!  You rock!

Mike in Tucson

Feb 02, 2009 02:42 PM #9
Ambassador
3,376,196
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS
Fathom Realty Washington LLC - Tacoma, WA
South Puget Sound Washington Agent/Broker!

Jon, It is a pity that we were brought up and taught in school to obey the law. Now school districts defy the law, there is something wrong here...

Feb 03, 2009 05:01 AM #10
Rainer
132,369
Jon Wnoroski
America's 1st Choice RH Realty Co., Inc. - Green, OH
Summit County Realtor

Hi Paul - Actually school districts are held to pretty high standards under the law.  Our state government is the one who has defied court orders on school funding issues.  In that respect, I do agree that it's a sad commentary that our legislative leaders stand in defiance of the law.

Feb 03, 2009 05:30 AM #11
Rainmaker
554,058
Barb Szabo, CRS
RE/MAX Trinity Brecksville Ohio - Cleveland, OH
E-pro Realtor, Cleveland Ohio Homes

Jon, Thanks for an excellent re-cap of the governor's plans. I think the future of America truly is at stake. What will we do if we don't properly educate our children?

Feb 04, 2009 01:10 AM #12
Rainmaker
671,988
Sandy Shores FL Realtor®, Melbourne Real Estate
M & M Realty of Brevard Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Brevard County Real Estate, Florida's Space Coast

Hi Jon, Our schools here are going to be doing a major overall because of lack of funds. We are hearing they might be cutting out many bus routes, cutting out electives, including all foreign language courses, drama, theater and cutting out many of the sports programs.  And going to a 6 period day, instead of 7. This could prove to be terrible! Time will tell what happens with it all.

Feb 05, 2009 05:54 AM #13
Rainer
215,890
Gail MacMillan
Titusville, FL

Hi Jon - Politicians "above the law" really...how novel :(

As I looked at some of the proposed changes, they didn't look all bad to me and I see you, as a former educator, favor much of it as well.  The cuts Sandy mentions above don't sound good at all, maybe we need to buy more lotto tickets as our schools are partly funded by their sale.

Feb 05, 2009 08:53 AM #14
Rainer
132,369
Jon Wnoroski
America's 1st Choice RH Realty Co., Inc. - Green, OH
Summit County Realtor

Hi Sandy/Gail - Ohio's governor is moving in the right direction to improve school funding in our state.  We have seen districts in financial difficulties and hopefully some of this will help.  The lengthening of the school year is a good thing for students but districts will face issues on how to fund 20 extra days of school each year.  Like other mandates, if it is not funded properly, it will place further financial hardships on school districts.

When school districts face financial problems they must cut their budget in order to be fiscally responsible.  Unfortunately when cuts are made they are generally in the form of cutting staff, increasing class size, and eliminating programs.  We also see the implementation of fees to maintain certain programs like "pay-to-play," etc.

I have seen some districts close their doors at 4:00 pm in order to cut costs.  This measure basically shuts out the general public for building usage and in one district almost eliminated the parks & recreation after school program; they used district buildings for their programs.

Hopefully Ohio will see some wisdom in the structure of their new funding program.  We can only wait and see.

Feb 06, 2009 12:13 AM #15
Rainer
494,722
Lynn911.com ~ Dallas Real Estate Agent Top Team
Dallas Houses for Rent Dallas Apartment Rentals Lynn911.com - Dallas, TX

As with everything requires staying on top of issues and adjusting with trends. Have a great week!

Feb 08, 2009 05:15 AM #16
Rainmaker
564,419
Chris Olsen
Olsen Ziegler Realty - Cleveland, OH
Broker Owner Cleveland Ohio Real Estate

Hi Jon -- I have sort of been following this issue.  In a declining revenue era we are facing, with no end in sight, and the feds not lilkely (at least with the stimulus bill currently under consideration) to contribute the amount the state had hoped for, I do wonder how this funding issue will really get resolved, as there are only so many types of pockets to dig into.

While this issue needs to be addressed, I would love to see a fair and permanent (as much as one can have in the politics of today) solution which over the long haul will be both very beneficial to our state and local economy, as well as stablize housing values if school districts improve and thrive.

Great post!

Feb 11, 2009 07:07 AM #17
Rainer
132,369
Jon Wnoroski
America's 1st Choice RH Realty Co., Inc. - Green, OH
Summit County Realtor

Hi Chris - Thank you again.  You are absolutely correct.  We do need solutions that will bring finacial stability at all levels.  We'll have to wait an see what our lawmakers do with the school funding issues as well as the many other issues we face.

Feb 11, 2009 10:08 PM #18
Rainer
97,994
Lara O'Keefe
North Texas Home Finders - McKinney, TX

Jon, it sounds like they still have a lot of work ahead of them.

Feb 12, 2009 08:25 AM #19
Rainer
54,240
Barbara Delaney
Park Place REALTORS, Inc. - Roanoke, VA

Dear Jon,

This sounds like a big proposal, but at least government is paying attention.

 

Barbara

Feb 16, 2009 08:50 AM #20
Rainmaker
1,116,658
Jim Frimmer
HomeSmart Realty West - San Diego, CA
Realtor & CDPE, Mission Valley specialist

Wow. Schools out here are doing just the opposite, cutting the number of teachers, cutting the number of classes, cutting the number of days, even cutting minutes off of the school day. California has something like a $43 billion budget deficit, and for some reason education, police, and firefighters get hit first. I think we need to do away with a few politicians myself.

I don't understand why we need ten city council members, representing 100,000 people, at a cost of one million dollars or more in staff and salary when just two senators seem to do pretty good at representing eighteen million people in Washington with a lot less salary. Now picture hundreds of cities and counties with all those politician and staff salaries, and I think getting rid of at least one per city could probably save two or three teacher/police/firefighter jobs.

Just MHO, but I'm sticking with it. LOL

Mar 12, 2009 04:20 AM #21
Show All Comments

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?

Rainer
132,369

Jon Wnoroski

Summit County Realtor
Ask me a question
*
*
*
*

Additional Information