COLUMBUS- Representative Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) has received many calls from parents of students throughout his district expressing their displeasure with Governor Kasichs Education Funding Plan. Initially, the Governor indicated that his plan would help poor school districts. However, once the details were released showing individual school districts funding amounts, it became clear that most local school districts received no increased funding. In fact, many wealthier suburban school districts stand to receive large funding increases, as they seem to be the primary beneficiaries of the proposed redistribution of state aid.
The Governors proposal falls far short in making sure that students in poor school districts receive the same quality education as those in wealthy districts, said Rep. Cera. The misguided philosophy behind the plan hurts the more rural, poor school districts whose population has declined.
Ohios school funding efforts were ruled unconstitutional years ago and the state has made little progress in finding ways to make sure that all children receive a quality education regardless of whether they live in a rich or poor area of the state.
I am hopeful that the school funding plan will be modified by the Finance Committee prior to coming up for a vote. If not, I cannot support a plan that ignores our schools and students and further burdens local property owners, Rep. Cera said.
Cera also pointed out that the Governors budget calls for an increase in the severance tax on oil and gas to help pay for a state income tax cut.
The fact that this proposal would take revenue from property owners in our area makes it even more difficult to support a spending plan that leaves many of our schools with no increase in funding, added Rep. Cera.
The Governors budget is now being reviewed by the Ohio House of Representatives Finance and Appropriations Committee. Hearing on the budget can be viewed online at the OhioChannel.org.