Ohio public school funding is complicated. Funding of public schools in Ohio is trough states combination i. e. federal government contributing about 6 percent, Ohio state 44 percent while the local tax account to more than 50 percent. The formulas for school funding are provided by the state and this determines the amount that is received by each district. As a result more wealthy districts often raise more amounts than less wealthy districts.
On the other hand the state set up the guaranteed amount that each district is supposed to raise and these amounts are not based on the actual expenses that are used to fund the schools (Brandt, 2003). The delegation of responsibilities of funding to local districts and heavy reliance on property tax in Ohio, have contributed to inequalities for school children across the country From the time the first decision was released in 1997, there have been substantial benefits, although the decisions from the Supreme Court have not been enforced.
In this regard this paper will focus on the system of school funding in Ohio State and how the public and supreme court has responded to the system. In addition the paper will focus on the current plans of funding, Ohio school expenditure and potential solution to the system (Brandt, 2003). Public school funding in Ohio The system of funding of public schools relies much on local districts property tax and this has resulted to big differences since the system depends on the amount of money the district is able to raise. The system has caused problems for the poor suburban, rural and even urban schools.
For example, in 2003, Coshocton County raised only 7,529 US dollars while Cuyahoga County was able to raise 17,735 US dollars of school funding from the property taxes and state. There are inequalities and some public schools use Xeroxed copies or outdated textbooks. Some of the buildings in which the school children attend their classes have been condemned. Other school struggle to raise money to cater for basic needs such as paying school librarian. Some individual say that the problem is due to lack of care that is exhibited by poor schools.
However, considering the efforts people make ion paying tax, individuals in poor districts contribute large portion of money that they have but they are not in a position to raise as much money as the wealthy districts. In addition wealthy districts have valuable properties that fetch a lot of money as compared to poor districts. The state of Ohio spends a large portion of its tax on private schools. These private schools that are owned by private companies aims at making profits and do not care a bout the local tax payers. In Ohio when the value of the properties increases the state decrease it’s funding.
The states assume that the tax from the properties is directed to school funds. On the other hand public schools do not realize increase of funding since local taxes are normally fixed at the property value at time of last levy. Due to the gross inequalities DeRolph Dale, along with several district schools filed a case against Ohio State in 1991, and stated that the system of funding that is used in the country is unconstitutional. The supreme court of Ohio State began to investigate this system and resulted to establishment of major decisions of the Supreme Court.
In 2001, the Supreme Court declared the system as unconstitutional, and directed the general assembly to provide solution (Walker, 2005). Since that time Supreme Court made ruling on the funding system the state has responded by establishing numerous legislations in order to solve the problems of the funding system. However, the problems in funding system still exist and the state has been unable to solve them. When the first decision of Supreme Court was released in 1997, the senate president said that the Supreme Court cannot enforce its rules.
In 2001, the president said that Ohio State has no money and therefore Supreme Court has problems (Phillis, n. d). On the other hand following the ruling of Supreme Court there is a great dramatic impact in the funding of public schools in Ohio and many public schools are being constructed and the existing schools renovated. Before 1997 the state did not have priorities to support public schools. In 1997 the decision of DeRolph I influenced the state to support public schools and since then it have provided more than five million US dollars. Capital appropriation in the state of Ohio since 1997 for school facilities is as shown below.