Ohio’s constitution says the General Assembly must fund, support and maintain a “thorough and efficient system of common schools throughout the state.” Despite three Ohio Supreme Court rulings, legislators have yet to address inequities in the funds allocated to public schools throughout Ohio.
The struggle continues for equity in funding for all school districts. The Ohio State Board of Education does not enact the legislation that allocates funds to districts. But the staff of the Ohio Department of Education, which is accountable to the State Board, has a role in evaluating the impact on fairness for the funding formulas that governors and legislators develop in their biennial budgets. Indeed the Department of Education performs the calculations and communicates funding levels.
The role of the State Board of Education, therefore, should be to insist that Department of Education staff provide guidance to legislators and the Governor about the relative fairness and equity of funding formulas under consideration by the General Assembly.
Further, the State Board of Education should sponsor and require frequent evaluations of the impact of state funding formulas, spending on charter schools and taxation methods to determine the fairness, adequacy and efficiency of these policies as they affect local school districts, students and educators.