Not content with the Governor's $3 billion dollar state budget assault on public education, tea partiers, supported by the far right "1851 Center for Constitutional Law" - an offshoot of the right wing Buckeye Institute, are seeking to assault public education funding at the local level too.
The group is reaching back to that levy because state law bars the repeal of temporary tax issues, such as the five-year levy passed this year. The 2009 tax issue is permanent.
This is a move so radical and extreme that it has only ever been proposed once in the history of the state. If the "Center for Constitutional law" really cared about the Ohio constitution and public education it would be lobbying for a constitutional funding formula for our schools instead of trying to defund them. But rather than do that, they have published a document that contains the broad tactics groups can use to defund public education, a document that contains such information as
Clearly they think every district has a spending problem, and every citizen is over taxed - regardless of whether voters in places like Westerville disagreed by passing a levy just months ago. Their roadmap even includes this nugget:
(6) Keep a low profile. Remember, only once every five years can an attempt be made to reduce any given levy. If your school district’s teachers union gets wind of your plans too early in the process, they may quickly gather signatures and place a .000001 mil reduction of the levy tax on the ballot before you are able to gather and submit signatures for your more significant reduction.
Wanting to operate in the shadows was evident yesterday when confronted over twitter
At this point, this tea party group tried to make ridiculous claims about the 1851 Constitutional Law Center
A quick survey of their agenda and their board of directors quickly dispels any notion this is a non-partisan group.
What is striking about this recent move by the tea party to attack public education is their unwillingness to embrace their agenda. Instead, as the 1851 center urges, they want to "keep a low profile". We're going to see to it that that doesn't happen.