Affluent districts pay less in school taxes by this count

If New Albany-Plain school district residents paid an average amount of their income to fund local education, in relation to all Ohio districts, the district not only could stop worrying about budget cuts, it could more than double spending.

The affluent northeastern Franklin County district could bring in an extra $70 million a year — $15,200 per pupil — if its local tax effort matched the average effort in Ohio, according to an analysis by Howard Fleeter of the Ohio Education Policy Institute.

Neither Fleeter, nor anyone else for that matter, is suggesting New Albany strive for such a goal. But as Gov. John Kasich and state lawmakers again prepare to debate school funding as part of the two-year state budget, he thinks a district’s capacity to generate local revenue should be considered.

“Capacity is a valid point,” Fleeter said. “You can’t just make judgments that your millage rate is low so you need to help yourself before we help you. There are places with low millage rates that really are trying as hard as they ought to be.”

(Read more at the Dispatch)

Fleeter analyzed the local tax-effort index, a state-developed calculation that reflects how much financial effort residents are making to fund their local school district. An index greater than 1 indicates district residents are making an above-average effort, while those less than 1 are below average.