Rejected Kasich formula coming back?

The Ohio Senate revealed its version of the Budget, and it contained a number of changes to education policy proposals proposed by the Governor and the House. What it didn't contain was a school funding formula, for that we are told we will have to wait another week. A familiar story.

Based upon reporting, there should be some serious cause for concern. The Toledo Blade reports

A huge chunk still missing from the budget is how the chamber plans to deal with K-12 schools, preventing lawmakers from putting a total price tag on the two-year spending plan for the moment. Talks continue, but Mr. Faber predicted that the final product is likely to be closer to what Mr. Kasich initially proposed than what the House put forth.

Mr. Kasich’s school funding plans, particularly his promise that more money would flow to poorer schools, were initially greeted with optimism by school superintendents across the state. But that mood quickly soured when the administration released numbers showing that some 60 percent of school districts would see no funding increases while some wealthier, fast-growing, suburban districts were in line for large increases.

The House, in turned, capped the growth in subsidies to those suburban schools, resulting in more districts being in line for increases, including Toledo Public Schools. Mr. Faber would not speculate what the Senate’s total K-12 pot of funding would be larger or smaller than in the House version.

The Cincinnati Enquirer has a reaction

Senate Minority Leader Eric Kearney, D-North Avondale, said the small business tax cut wouldn’t provide business owners with enough money to create new jobs. He also lamented the budget’s lack of additional funding for local governments and schools.

“Our schools and local communities have suffered drastic cuts since Governor Kasich took office and today’s amendments by Senate Republicans to (the budget bill) did nothing to change that,” he said in a statement. “That’s not good news for local taxpayers who’ve been forced to pick up the slack from state funding cuts by voting for more local levies.”

Senate Republicans said they won’t have education funding numbers until next week, when they plan to reveal their final K-12 funding plan.

The Governor promised that poor districts would receive more, which should not have been a difficult task after he cut education funding by $1.8 billion in his last budget. But even that promise turned out to be empty as almost 400 school districts were set to receive flat funding. The House promised to fix the Governor's mess, and attempted to do so by returning to the Taft era building blocks formula - only they cut school funding by a further $200 million in the process. Now the Ohio Senate wants to return to the Governor's rejected formula. As we predicted, we have a school funding disaster on our hands, unless the Senate is also going to attach significant amounts of additional money to the plan to make it workable.

School administrators were not kind about the Governor's funding formula the first go-around, and here's the graph to demonstrate why

Will Ohio's media be bamboozled a third time by Republican legislators?

Public schools neglected in favor of private choice expansion

From William Phillis, Ohio E & A

"The public common school," Horace Mann said, "is the Greatest Discovery made by man." It constitutes a social compact established for the benefit of all the children of all the people, community by community, across Ohio and across America. It has been the primary force for the common good in America.

Although a state system in Ohio, required to be thorough and efficient by constitutional decree, it is operated at the community level by elected boards of education-the fourth branch of government. In spite of inadequate levels of state funding through the decades, the public common school in Ohio and throughout the nation has nurtured this country to which millions and millions in every generation have migrated.

The public common school, typically, on a modest and constrained budget, has attempted to meet the individual needs of students. Programs for vocational/technical training, programs for those with disabilities and special needs, have been a part of the common school fabric. Typically, education options have been limited by the fiscal resources available to school districts.

In the past two decades, the political will to maintain and strengthen the public common school, and thus the social compact, the common good, has dwindled in a frenzied untested "quick fix" strategy that is fueled by many who want to take public money to the altar of the god of school choice.

The public common school system, due to the transfer of resources from the system to private choices, is less able to provide for choice; hence, students within the public common school system are being denied choices due to choice expansion outside the system.

The school funding measures in HB 59 (school funding level and non-formula school funding formula) are detrimental to most school districts while favoring the school choice movement. The state has the constitutional responsibility to maintain and nurture the common school system, not give it away.

The 130th General Assembly should put a moratorium on the expansion of school choice and establish a bipartisan, bicameral legislative research committee to study the current choice program.

School funding disaster in the making

The Dispatch may have published this story on April Fools Day, but it is no joke. Lawmakers aren’t near a school-funding resolution

Faced with an unpopular formula, a fast-approaching deadline, and an uncertain amount of money, Rep. Gerald Stebelton doubts a final school-funding plan can be crafted by the time the two-year state budget is approved.

We have some sympathy for Rep Stableton. The Governor crafted his ill conceived defunding plan in secret, with little or no input from any stakeholders. The Governor then spent over a week trying to bamboozle everyone with his ridiculous claims of what his funding plan would do, only to have those claims fall to pieces once details of the defunding plan emerged.

The Lancaster Republican said the plan is for the House to pass “something,” and then send it to the Senate in April for more work by the June 30 deadline. But with time running short, he thinks it’s unrealistic that it can be fully resolved and provide school districts with answers about how funding will work in the future.

This is where our sympathy begins to run out. The GOP dominated legislature are struggling to devise an adequate and equitable funding system because they don't want to commit the money necessary to make that possible. Consequently they are left trying to move an inadequate amount of funding around in the hopes that they can find some magical distribution that works.

They are never going to find that solution at the currently proposed funding levels - levels which fall below those seen in 2009. Instead of adequately funding public education, the Republicans have an income tax cut fetish that few others support.

It is troubling that a Republican legislature is once again going to punt on creating a funding formula that works, and instead continue to lock in funding levels that are woefully inadequate.

And if you need any more proof that Michelle Rhee's billionaire funded StudentsFirst organization is nothing more than an anti-tax front group, this should do the trick

StudentsFirst, an education-reform organization founded by former Washington, D.C., schools’ chief Michelle Rhee, has proposed reworking the formula while spending no additional money.

We are not aware of any other pro-public education organization that thinks a workable solution can be found at the currently proposed funding levels. And as for Dick Ross, the architect of the currently proposed disaster of a funding plan, the State Board of Education just made him the State Superintendent.

Education News for 02-07-2013

State Education News

  • Rich, growing school districts do well under governor’s funding proposal (Akron Beacon Journal)
  • Gov. John Kasich’s office rolled out spreadsheets Wednesday showing how much money school districts will receive under his new funding formula…Read more...

  • Plan means no funding growth for most schools (Chillicothe Gazette)
  • Gov. John Kasich’s school funding plan dramatically changes the state funding formula for districts, but most Ohio schools would see no new money under the proposal…Read more...

  • Kasich details educational funding (Cincinnati Enquirer)
  • Most Southwest Ohio school districts were breathing sighs of relief Wednesday after Gov. John Kasich’s office released detailed funding amounts for each district…Read more...

  • Susan Zelman hired by the Ohio Department of Education to work on school funding (Cleveland Plain Dealer)
  • Susan Zelman, who was state superintendent for 10 years, has returned to the Ohio Department of Education to work with schools on funding issues…Read more...

  • Most schools to get no additional funds in Kasich plan (Columbus Dispatch)
  • Sixty percent of Ohio school districts — including all those in Perry County, where the state’s long-running school-funding lawsuit originated — would get no additional state money in the next two years under Gov. John Kasich’s education plan…Read more...


  • Kasich funding formula favors suburban schools; TPS, other urban districts, mostly flat under (Toledo Blade)
  • Preliminary breakdowns of how Gov. John Kasich’s new school-funding formula will affect school districts show that growing, relatively wealthier suburban districts in metro Toledo will receive significant increases…Read more...

Local Education News

  • CPS evaluation policy remains unresolved (Cincinnati Enquirer)
  • After months of discussion and several heated meetings with representatives from the teachers’ union, Cincinnati’s school board Monday voted 4-3 to delay a vote on a new controversial policy to evaluate its roughly 2,000 teachers.…Read more...

  • Northeast Ohio schools get first look at what new state funding formula may mean to them (Cleveland Plain Dealer)
  • School officials across Ohio have gotten their first peek at how much state money they might get over the next two years from Gov. John Kasich's proposed funding formula…Read more...

  • Second lawsuit filed in data-rigging case (Columbus Dispatch)
  • Another parent has sued several current and former Columbus school district leaders, saying the district’s “pattern of corrupt activity” has hurt his daughter…Read more...

  • Lakota maintains high return on investment (Hamilton Journal-News)
  • An independent compensation study reveals the Lakota school district is spending less and getting more…Read more...

  • Online Teacher Fired For Paying Former Student To Teach Class, Grade (WBNS)
  • The Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow, or ECOT, isn’t a traditional public school, but like all public schools, classes are supposed to be taught by licensed teachers.Read more...

  • Liberty hires county's treasurer services (Youngstown Vindicator)
  • The school board has approved using staff at the Trumbull County Educational Service Center as the district’s interim treasurer for the remainder of the school year…Read more...

  • Boardman, Lordstown get largest increases in Kasich’s budget plan (Youngstown Vindicator)
  • While no Mahoning Valley school districts would get less state money in Gov. John Kasich’s proposed biennium budget, most wouldn’t get any more either…Read more...


  • School budget (Findlay Courier)
  • It will take some serious number-crunching and time before we know if Gov. John Kasich's school funding formula is any better than the current one, which was ruled unconstitutional in 1997…Read more...

  • Gov. Kasich’s budget (Toledo Blade)
  • The state budget that Gov. John Kasich proposed on Monday reflects a healthier Ohio economy than the one his first, austere spending plan responded to two years ago…Read more...

  • Kasich plan for schools sounds good (Warren Tribune Chronicle)
  • Reports last week that Gov. John Kasich wants to provide additional state help to school districts with meager property tax bases no doubt was received happily by some area education…Read more...

HB555 FAQ for teacher evaluations

We've just got our hands on this document put out by the Ohio Department of Education. It's an updated framework for teacher evaluations based on the changes that were slipped into HB555 in the dead of night.

Is there a more ridiculously convoluted and complex framework for evaluating any other professions job performance? How is any teacher expected to understand all this enough to know where to focus improvement efforts, especially since the Value-added formula itself is secret and proprietary.

HB 555 FAQ with regard to teacher evaluations by

Strong Schools - Strong Communities

Another pro-public education organization is joining the fray in Ohio. Strong Schools - Strong Communities. ABC 6 News reports on their announcement

Deb Papesh, a Dublin City Schools parent, had this to say about the groups formation

"I believe Strong Schools, Strong Communities is looking at that to see what they can they borrow from what we did to help on a more global level," she said following the press conference.

Papesh thinks communities across the state can help each other with campaigns that center on funding issues.

Right now those involved with Strong Schools, Strong Communities say their job is to keep an eye on and testify for or against any new legislation that affects public education in Ohio.

They also say they’re prepared to activate their network in the same way the grassroots organization We Are Ohio mobilized in 2011 to push back against a legislative effort to limit collective bargaining rights for public employees.

Teacher Donna O'Connor had this to say

“We believe a child’s ZIP code should not hinder their access to a high-quality public education. We will advocate for a fair and sustainable and equitable funding formula and educate the public as to next year’s budget and policies that come out of our next session.”

We encourage you to follow them on Facebook, here at You can also receive a weekly text message update by texting "SSSC" to 51555.

Here's a video fo the press conferecne event

Part one

Part two

Part three

There's a growing resistance in Ohio, to the corporate education movement.