Innovation Ohio follow up on the news that the public school privatization bill (HB136) is going to change, with some interesting new analysis on what some of the proposed changes might mean
The good news is that Huffman announced that a scaled back version of HB 136 would either be introduced as a new bill or rolled into a new education plan Gov. Kasich is expected to submit next year.
The bad news is that even this “scaled back” version would cost districts up to $76.5 million, effectively doubling the cost of private school vouchers from last year.
And many of Huffman’s proposed changes would still present public schools with massive problems.
Take his proposal to cap the amount of state money any district could lose at $4,500 per student, for example.
Under this proposal, locally raised property taxes would still be sent to private schools. Why? Because the $4,500 per pupil in state money Huffman cites is a phantom figure. Its what a district might get before “deductions” for Charter Schools, Open Enrollment, and other voucher programs. Last year, for example, the state provided public school districts with $6.5 billion—which equated to nearly $3,800 for each of the 1.75 million children in those districts. But after “deductions” for charters, vouchers, and open enrollment, that $3,800 shrunk to roughly $3,200. So if districts get $3,200 per pupil from the state—but could lost up to $4,500 per pupil for private school vouchers—they would still lose money. And that would require the schools to either cut programs or seek more funding from taxpayers through local levies.