The League of Women Voters of the the Lima Area supports Rep. Bob Cupp’s efforts to fix Ohio’s broken system of funding schools.
The lame-duck session of the Ohio legislature could complete the three-year journey and model process of drafting The Fair School Funding Plan, a law to finally fix Ohio’s broken system of school funding.
In 1997, the Ohio Supreme Court made the first of four decisions in the DeRolph case that required the legislature to invest more in its public schools and reduce reliance on local property taxes. During the 20-plus years since the school funding system in Ohio was ruled unconstitutional by the Ohio Supreme Court, the legislature has consistently failed to act, instead creating a system that is unpredictable, uneven, and inadequate to meet demands of education in the 21st century.
Three years ago Allen County’s state representative, Bob Cupp, and Rep. John Patterson, 99th District, introduced HB 308, a bi-partisan fair funding plan that ensures every student in every school district has the benefit of a sound education regardless of the local community’s capacity to fund its public schools. HB 305 was developed over three years through an informed process of research, extensive input from practitioners and lawmakers, and thoughtful deliberation. It is a comprehensive approach, based in reality, and represents the actual cost of funding a child’s education,
The League of Women Voters is committed to high quality public education. We believe the state has a major role in providing adequate and equitable funding for every student in every school district. Public education is the most fundamental service provided by state government, a service that benefits individuals, communities, and the state. We believe it is time to invest in making our system of public schools a true resource for every community and the future of Ohio.
This legislation is ready for adoption. The bill entered the lame-duck session of the Ohio House as Substitute HB 308 and the Senate as SB 376. This bill represents a commitment to an inspired vision of what public schools can accomplish, and it is based on the actual cost of providing for a quality education. After more than 20 years we cannot afford to put off this decision. There is no “plan B” or prospect of a solution that could meet the quality of this proposal. All individuals who believe in quality public education are encouraged to contact their state legislators now and encourage passage of this legislation in 2020.
Millie Hughes is president of the League of Women Voters of the Lima Area.