Education Funding – Some Details
The Governor’s office has released some details on how he would fix Ohio’s school funding system which the Ohio Supreme Court has ruled relies too heavily on local property taxes.
From the Gov’s office:
Effective Funding for a 21st Century System of Education
To implement the Ohio evidence-based plan, Ohio students will need the educators, support staff, materials, and special programs designed to support a 21st Century system of education.
By defining student needs, we have defined the resources our schools need to meet them.
Current formula to calculate tax revenue uses “phantom revenue”. Currently, when the state calculates how much tax revenue a local school district has, the state uses phony numbers, often referred to as “phantom revenue.” For example, in many school districts, rising property values do not produce additional property tax revenue. However, the state formula for school aid assumes districts receive additional revenue. This formula is not logical, and it results in many districts being punished because the formula says they have an abundance of phantom dollars that don’t actually exist.
Establish an effective system of funding that accounts for local resources.
Under the Governor’s plan, the state will no longer ask school districts to pay their bills with phantom dollars Instead, the plan lowers what local taxpayers are expected to contribute to local schools from 23 mills to 20 mills.
The state will assume responsibility for providing the difference between what those 20 mills raise and the cost of the full range of education resources our students need according to our evidence-based approach.
Use of conversion levies will allow districts’ revenues to grow.
Districts will have the option of asking voters to pass a conversion levy, which maintains the existing millage on residential property for a district currently above 20 mills.
Districts that use a conversion levy, and all districts whose tax structure already allows growth on 20 mills, will see their tax revenues grow with increased property values, helping schools to keep up with inflation.