In a recent Dispatch article, Governor Kasich “defended his proposed school funding formula that would result in cuts for more than half of Ohio’s school districts” by complaining that many school districts “have not looked to improve how they operate, from merging with other districts to partnering in purchasing.”
In fact, many school districts have reduced programs and services to cope with state-imposed loss of tangible personal property revenue (TPP), state cuts in reimbursement for loss of TPP, flat state funding for several years and loss of funds flowing to charters and vouchers.
With very, very few exceptions, merging districts does not lower the per pupil cost. Most school districts are involved in co-op purchasing or otherwise negotiate lower prices than the co-op arrangement. Consolidation and purchasing practices are not relevant in the ongoing school funding debate.
Ohio has an unconstitutional school funding system. The school foundation program is predicated on residual budgeting and the emphasis on property tax is outrageous.
William L. Phillis, Ohio Coalition for Equity & Adequacy of School Funding