Back in June, the Cleveland Plain Dealer‘s “PolitiFact” judged the Ohio Democratic Party’s charge that Kasich’s budget, which slashed funding for local governments and schools leading to higher levy request, “half true” because the Kasich Adminsitration claimed that local government employment has grown and “tax issues were at the lowest levels since 2003.” But that was based on the number of requests filed in 2011, which would have been just a few months after State budget passed. In fact, the people interviewed by the Plain Dealer warned that the Kasich Administration’s evidence was deceptive because it was based on elections that occurred before the large cuts took place.
The Plain Dealer’s response: “That’s looking into the future, which we won’t do.”
So the Plain Dealer ruled it half true based on nothing more than the jobs report and the two elections that had occurred since Kasich’s budget was signed into law, even though those elections occurred largely before the cuts had actually taken place on school budget sheets.
How far in the future did the Plain Dealer refuse to look? Well, apparently, to this year’s general election.
Yesterday, the Columbus Dispatch reported that the number of school levies seeking new revenues (as opposed to renewal levies) has hit the highest number in a decade:
Statewide, there are 194 school levies on the November ballot, including 123 requests for additional funding.
Over 63% of the school levies on the general election ballot are Kasich levies seeking to increase property tax funding for schools to replace the lost of state funding.
Many districts with new-money levies on the November ballot say they already have cut spending and often are seeking additional local funding to maintain current programs and spending.
Oh, and as for the claim that Kasich’s budgets haven’t reduced the number of Ohioans employed by local governments, and that instead, it’s increased under Kasich?
And as we pointed out back in September, while the number of local government employees has been in a free fall since the spike in May (the PolitiFact story just happened to be written when the only available data was the May spike data), the number of state employees has spiked to the highest levels since under Bob Taft’s second term. It doesn’t take a crystal ball to see how Kasich’s budget has hurt Ohio’s public schools and local communities. And the worst cuts are yet to come.
We need a media that actually is willing to revisit these issues and hold the Administration accountable. Kasich’s budget has hurt our schools and our wallets. The numbers don’t lie.