Last week I posted information about House Bill 136, a proposal to create a school voucher program that would (technically) be open to all students across Ohio, not just those in the lowest-performing schools as in the current EdChoice program. When I had the opportunity to testify to the House Education Committee on Wednesday, I expanded the statistical information in my original post to include school districts that are served by members of the committee. The atmosphere was energizing as I called out one district after another and the inequity of the funding behind House Bill 136. More specifically, I wondered aloud how committee member Andy Brenner, my Representative, would be able to explain to Olentangy Local School District residents how he could support a plan to fund private school students at a rate 10 times the amount the state provides to this district that has a rating of Excellent with Distinction, placing it among the highest school districts in all of Ohio. Isn’t this the type of educational attainment that the educational reformers want to strive toward? Why would Representative Brenner ever vote in favor of legislation that claims that private schools are 10 times as valuable as this fast-growing and top-performing district that serves his constituents? As it turns out, Brenner actually DID vote in favor of this bill and against my request, and he will now have to answer those questions.
In the days since, I have been asked about the numbers I provided and whether they are available for all districts. They weren’t, but they are now. This is probably one of my most technical and detailed posts to date, and I urge you to read the notes I provided before exploring the full spreadsheet. I am posting this file in its entirety because I know that the numbers overwhelmingly support the fact that this legislation is poorly crafted and needs to be derailed off the fast track that it is currently on. I also wish to put this information out there and request your help in spreading these numbers across the state into every school district. At the end of the post I have included a sample of the table I used in my written testimony. I suggest converting your local school district data into this format if you wish to include it in an email to your Representative, Senator, local school superintendent, local board of education, teachers, family & friends. [Seriously, send an email or two.]
The full spreadsheet is linked at the end of the post, but before then I have provided the specific details of where I obtained the information and how I calculated the numbers. I consider this information to actually be conservative in nature as I expected that it would be subject to scrutiny by those who wish to force through the legislation based on personal beliefs, ignoring the adverse financial impact on the vast majority of their constituents. I am confident in these calculations and know that Ohio’s voters, especially public school parents, need to be exposed to the truth about “school choice” so that they can exercise “legislator choice” when voting day arrives.
Origin of Numerical Data:
The original spreadsheet retains its format as I downloaded it from the Ohio Department of Education and is the FY2012 BRIDGE FUNDING REPORT. I obtained the publicly available spreadsheet from the ODE website.
The median federal AGI amounts (as dictated in HB136) are from the Ohio Department of Taxation for the tax year 2009, the most recent numbers available, and the spreadsheet of the “Income Tax – By School District” figures are publicly available on their website.
The adjusted student enrollment counts were calculated by using the open enrollment and community school figures for each district for September 2, 2011, available by researching each district individually through the ODE website.
Understanding the spreadsheet:
Columns A-AL are from the original file and the data is unedited.
Columns AM-AZ are new columns that have been added for my calculations.
Row 8 contains the relevant column headers.
- Column B: School district name.
- Column C: County name
- Columns F-P: FY11 Funding figures (not used in these calculations)
- Columns Q-AL: FY12 Funding figures
- Column AM: Gross State Funding Total – includes BRIDGE funding and additional funding items to rebuild total amount of funding a district receives for total enrollment; includes EdChoice funding dollars since those students
- Column AN: Gross State Per Pupil Funding – Gross State Funding Total divided by the FY12 student enrollment amount reported by ODE in column Q
- Column AO: Net State Funding Total – Total Net State Support as reported by ODE in Column AI, adding back in any EdChoice funding
- Column AP: Median Federal AGI 2009 – obtained directly from Ohio Department of Taxation report
- Column AQ: FY12 Student Enrollment for funding – reported by ODE (originally in column Q)
- Column AR: FTE Adjustment – The net total change of students through Open Enrollment and Community School enrollment. Only calculated for districts with enrollment greater that 1,500 or with a Voucher Ration greater than 2.0 (see column AV). Smaller districts typically have less access to private schools in their community.
- Column AS: Final Adjusted FTE – Column AQ minus Column AR to arrive at the final actual student enrollment for the district
- Column AT: Net State Per Pupil Aid – Net State Funding (AO) divided by Final Adjusted FTE (AS). This amount represents the actual amount that a district receives per pupil in state funds.
- Column AU: Voucher Amount – the corresponding amount of the voucher as defined by HB 136 based on the median income in the school district
- Column AV: Voucher Ratio – Voucher Amount divided by Net State Per Pupil Aid and represents the value (times) of the private school funding amount for a pupil living in the district compared to the public school funding amount for a pupil living in the district
- Column AW: Available Vouchers for District – HB136 caps the number of vouchers available in a district at the dollar amount of the state funding allocated to the district
- Column AX: Unfunded Students – the number of students who would not have access to the voucher program due to the funding cap
- Column AY: % of Students Funded – This figure represents the percentage of students who could be awarded a voucher in the district. The number also represents the percentage of students who could receive a voucher and exhaust all state funds allocated for the district. For example, if 16% of the Shawnee Local School District (row 18) were awarded vouchers, then the state funding amount for the district would be fully exhausted, leaving the remaining 84% of students with precisely zero dollars in state funding.
- Column AZ: District Rating – The school district’s rating based on the 2010-2011 ODE Report Card
A few additional observations about the data:
- 538 out of 612 (88%) school districts have a voucher ratio greater than 1.0, meaning that the voucher amount deducted from the district and given to the private school is greater than the per pupil amount allocated to the public school district.
- 185 school districts have a voucher ratio of 2.0 or higher, resulting in a voucher payment of more than double the public funding amount.
- Of the 185 school districts with a voucher ratio of higher than 2.0, 142 achieved a rating of Excellent or Excellent with Distinction from the Ohio Department of Education for the 2010-2011 school year.
- School districts with an Excellent with Distinction, the highest rating obtainable in Ohio and a demonstration of sustained excellence, have an average voucher ratio of 2.35. This means that HB136 would make the statement that private school students in these districts should receive 2.35 times as much funding as these high-performing public schools
- The Upper Arlington City SD is reported as having a negative state school funding dollar amount, resulting in a situation where no student would have access to the voucher funding proposed in HB136
- Some of the highest performing districts will have to pay over 10x the amount they receive from the state in private school tuition
- Rocky River City SD – 12.88 x per pupil funding
- Olentangy Local SD – 10.47 x per pupil funding
- Sycamore Community SD – 11.20 x per pupil funding
In my written testimony, I provided some charts to help organize the data in a more readable format.
|District name||Olentangy Local SD (Delaware County)|
|Median income||$74,476 (Highest in Ohio)|
|Net per pupil state funding||$331.41|
|% of students eligible||9%|
|Number of students remaining||14,396|
This week, I intend to begin emailing charts to the most severely impacted schools districts and the elected officials, but I could use your help. Based on the list of sponsors and committee results, this should be considered Republican-backed legislation. 12 Republican state representatives have already voted in favor of the bill, sending it to the floor for a full House vote in the upcoming weeks:
- Andrew Brenner – District02@ohr.state.oh.us
- Jim Butler – District37@ohr.state.oh.us
- Timothy Derickson – District53@ohr.state.oh.us
- Bill Hayes – District91@ohr.state.oh.us
- Michael Henne – District36@ohr.state.oh.us
- Matt Huffman – District04@ohr.state.oh.us
- Casey Kozlowski – District99@ohr.state.oh.us
- Ron Maag – District35@ohr.state.oh.us
- Craig Newbold – District01@ohr.state.oh.us
- Kristina Roegner – District42@ohr.state.oh.us
- Gerald L. Stebelton – District05@ohr.state.oh.us
- Andy Thompson – District93@ohr.state.oh.us
I can’t help but wonder why they claim to have given local districts the “tools” in SB5 (Vote NO on ISSUE 2) to manage their finances only to turn around and steal public money.
Continue to expose their lies and hold them accountable.
If you are a data geek like me, you can download the full Excel file here: HB136 Analysis of Effect on Public School Funding
In the version below, I have consolidated the columns displayed so that the information is at least somewhat visible. The downloadable file at the above link includes the complete data set.