For nearly 25 years, Ohio lawmakers have been working on a plan to overhaul the way the state's public schools are funded. The work followed the 1997 Supreme Court of Ohio decision declaring the current model, which relies heavily on property values, unconstitutional.
In early November, Senator Peggy Lehner (R-Kettering) and Senator Vernon Sykes (D-Akron) introduced the bipartisan Fair School Funding Plan (Senate Bill 376), a companion bill to the previously introduced House Bill 305. The plan aims to keep local tax dollars in school districts by directly funding public, private, and charter students where they are educated, basing 60 percent of a district's local funding capacity on property values and 40 percent on resident income. If fully funded after a proposed six-year phase-in, the new plan would eventually allocate an extra $1.99 billion in annual state funding for schools.
While the general consensus is that this overhaul is long overdue and desperately needed, challenges persist. Lawmakers only have until December 31 to pass the plan before the current session ends. In addition, finding money in the state budget - which was already gutted due to the ongoing, devastating effects of the coronavirus pandemic - could prove difficult.
Join us for a conversation with state leaders as they explain the details of the Fair School Funding Plan and what its passage or failure means for the future of Ohio public education.
The livestream will be available beginning at 12 p.m. Have questions? Tweet them at @TheCityClub or send a text to 330.541.5794.