JTF recently recieved this essay from Worthington City Schools senior, Hassan Mizra.
The state's previous budget cut public school funding by $1.8 billion, which ultimately hurt Ohio's public education system. Ohio Governor John Kasich introduced a new state budget, which proposed a reform of the school funding formula. The new budget promised more money to the less funded school districts, but the promise proved empty. But the Governor, through the Republican dominated legislature, is doing the exact opposite. They are continuing to underfund public schools while increase funding to charter schools and further pushing public education into the hands of private corporations.
For the 2011-12 school year, Worthington Schools received $54,952,536 all total funds, and Olentangy Local Schools received $50,863,323. These two districts are 2 of the best in central Ohio, where they benefit from higher than typical property valuations. An essential aspect for each of these districts' high ratings is because they receive the necessary funding that a public school district should have.
However, the underfunding of public schools in Ohio is an enormous issue that affects many people, especially students. There is a need to re-work the current formula used by Ohio to determine how school funds are disbursed and also to increase public support for education funding. Limited funds for public schools have primarily affected the poor and have put them at a disadvantage in getting a quality education. Whitehall, generally speaking, has a lower property valuation. The schools in Whitehall do not receive the sufficient funding they deserve as a public school district.
Unequal funding throughout the state demonstrates the unfairness some school districts face. Is it fair that schools that reside in low property valuation areas don’t have the necessities to educate their youth?
The reason that some schools can't do things like buy computers and maintain their buildings to begin with is because the school funding system is so ineffective. The US government pays only 7% of all school money, and the rest is up to the state and the local tax-payers. Whatever money the state won't pay is paid as school income tax or property taxes, which are higher or lower depending on how much the property is worth, and the incomes of the districts residents. But this means that schools in poor neighborhoods get little money while wealthy schools get nearly all they need.
The Governor needs to start funding public education fairly and adequately. According to the Ohio Association of Independent Schools (OAIS) the vast majority Ohio students, roughly 1.85 million attend public schools, so it would make sense for the Governor to turn his attention towards public education. Despite whether a child's parents are wealthy or poor, it is in everyone's interest to guarantee that America's future generations are both highly skilled and well educated.