To the Editor:
The League of Women Voters of Bowling Green and the Ohio League of Women Voters support the Fair School Funding Plan.
We urge the Legislature to act now and pass Sub. HB 305 and companion bill, SB 376. It is time to bring to fruition the three-year-long bi-partisan project to develop a substantial solution to Ohio’s broken school funding system. I am delighted that Ohio. Rep. Haraz Ghabari, R-Perrysburg, is one of the co-sponsors of HB 305.
The plan goes a long way to making sure that regardless of where a student lives, or the capacity of that community to fund its schools, all children can attend a public school that has adequate resources to provide the education they need for success.
The need for action is urgent. Public school funding is in tatters and school districts are financially vulnerable. The state investment is unpredictable, and deduction funding for private education is shrinking resources for public schools, especially those serving the neediest students. Many communities are struggling to maintain the simple basics of education rather than the inspiring experiences that ignite life-long learners and prepare thoughtful citizens.
The proposal is a responsible blueprint for investing public funds. It is a genuine attempt to base funding on the actual cost of education. It increases the state’s investment in public schools, and more accurately assesses the capacity of local communities to contribute to the basic cost of education. It gives the state responsibility for funding vouchers and charter schools, lifting this burden locally. When fully funded, it will reduce reliance on local property taxes.
We appreciate the quality of the plan and the determination of its bi-partisan leaders Rep. Cupp and Rep. Patterson to wholeheartedly address a complex issue of great significance to the welfare of our state.
The legislation is the result of a model process of thoughtful policy making that gathered input from practitioners and stakeholders from every corner of the state. Failure to act now would be squandering a well-designed solution to a problem that has undermined our public schools for more than 20 years.
Students, school districts, and taxpayers all deserve a workable and fair system. Approve the Fair School Funding Plan now. We cannot wait any longer.
Contact Sen. Theresa Gavarone, R-Bowling Green, and plead with her to support this important legislation.
Lee Hakel, President