Kasich escalates public ed defunding

Ohioans would see income taxes fall, but would pay for them through higher sales and property taxes in the final Republican proposal

That's how the Cincinnati Enquirer opens its report on the massive last minute tax plan the Ohio GOP are planning to dump on the state, after months of internal disagreements.

Of particular concern to those who support public education, the budget conference committee decided not to restore the historic school funding cuts they made in the previous budget, but instead build upon it. Here was their starting point

FY12 (2011-2012 school year), which was the first year under Kasich's budget, saw a total of $7.52 billion in total state revenues. That's an 8% cut in total state revenue -- easily the largest cut since ODE started keeping these total state revenue figures in 1995.

And the bad news for districts is that FY12 won't represent the entire state divestment from education during Kasich's first budget. That's because the governor's budget phased down the Tangible Personal Property and Killowatt Hour tax reimbursement payments over two years. So the cut will be likely continued in FY13, pushing the total revenue figure down even lower.

As it stands, that $7.52 billion is the lowest amount provided by the state since the 2007-2008 school year.

Where they have ended up is even worse. In order to pay for their income tax cut, they have decided to eliminate the 12.5% property tax rollback.

The elimination of the property tax rollback will make future school levies harder to pass and more expensive, further shifting the burden from the state to local communities already struggling to support the needs of their students.

Eliminating the 12.5 percent property tax rollback for new taxes could make school levies harder to sell to voters. For example, without the rollback, last year's 15-mill Cleveland school levy would have cost $263 a year instead of $230 for the owner of a $50,000 home, and $525 a year instead of $459 for the owner of a $100,000 home.

The Governor and his legislative allies continue to shift the burden from millionaires to working people and their communities. We're going backwards at a time when the state can afford to move forward.

Education News for 11-27-2012

State Education News

  • Kasich offers Coleman help with school reform (Columbus Dispatch)
  • Gov. John Kasich pledged to assist Columbus Mayor Michael B. Coleman with efforts to reform the city’s school system, much like the support he gave this year to Cleveland…Read more...

  • New buildings may doom school levies in elections (Dayton Daily News)
  • Voters who approved bond issues in recent years to build new schools rejected requests for new operating levies in those same districts earlier this month…Read more...

  • Title IX 40th anniversary: High school, college athletes, coaches see benefits and challenges (Willoughby News Herald)
  • As an All-Ohio volleyball player at Lake Catholic High School as well as a University of Florida recruit, Abby Detering has felt the effects of Title IX. And she likes what the future holds…Read more...

Local Education News

  • Bomb threat holds up Dublin classes (Columbus Dispatch)
  • Dublin school officials took the unusual step of delaying the start of school throughout the district yesterday after emails said there were bombs in several buildings…Read more...

  • Free school lunch numbers continue to rise (Hamilton Journal-News)
  • During the past decade, the percentage of students participating in the Free and Reduced Lunch program has nearly doubled in some Butler County school districts…Read more...

  • Reynoldsburg Police Pull Dare Officer Out Of Schools (WBNS)
  • The new administration at the Reynoldsburg Police Department has decided to implement term limits for its school resource officer…Read more...

  • Teens steal iPads, laptops (WEWS)
  • Eleven iPads were stolen from an Akron middle school…Read more...

Final Campaign 2012 recap

We've covered a lot of ground during campaign 2012, and wanted to recap some of the important pieces you will want to keep in mind.

School Levies
There are a lot of levies on the ballot, as a result of the Kasich budget cuts. You can see a list of them here , organizned by county, type and whether they are requests for new money or continuations.

State Board of Education
There are 7 state board of election seats up for grab, here's our primer on those, including some bios of pro public education candidates.

Voting Checklist
Confused by the shifting voting requirements caused by politicians seeking their own advantage? Here's a handy checklist of what you need to vote, and what your rights are.

Union Candidates
Remember SB5? So do these union members who decided to run for office. If you're lucky, one of them will be on your ballot. One such member is Donna O'Connor, who has inspired so many people with her positive vision and strong leadership. Check the link to see all the union members running on pro-worker platforms.

The Big One - President
We've written a lot about the race for the Presidency, but we'll leave it in the hands of the candidates own visions to make closing arguments

President Obama's 2nd term plan for education.
Mitt Romney: Mr. Corporate Ed.

Issue 2: Voters First, Not Politicians
A YES on Issue 2 puts voters first.

Kasich cuts bite deep locally

A new report finds that the loss of teachers and other education staff is forcing communities into difficult choices that harm our children’s education and future, including increasing class sizes and shortening school years and days. The report shows that more than 300,000 local education jobs have been lost since the end of the recession – a figure that stands in stark contrast to previous economic recoveries. As a result, the national student-teacher ratio increased by 4.6 percent from 2008 to 2010, rolling back all the gains made since 2000. Increased class sizes have negative consequences for the future of America’s children at a time when education has never been more important to finding a good job and maintaining our competitiveness as a nation.

In Ohio, as Plunderbund notes, the effects of the Kasich budget have been similar and dramatic, as we now find local communities being asked to pick up the budget pieces

Over 63% of the school levies on the general election ballot are Kasich levies seeking to increase property tax funding for schools to replace the lost of state funding.

We catalogued the full list of school levies on the November ballot, here.

Governor John Kasich enacted Ohio's most draconian education cuts in the state's history, and as a consequence is now causing either local taxes to increase to meet the serious shortfalls, or degrading educational quality with increased class sizes, cuts in programs, nutrition, busing and sport.

He will have a chance to reverse this in his up coming budget, we urge him and the legislature to do so, our future, as the report below indicates, depends upon it Investing in Our Future Report

Education News for 10-23-2012

State Education News

  • Canton school administrator among 9 named in ethics probe (Canton Repository)
  • Nine Ohio education officials — including the current assistant superintendent of Canton City Schools — failed to properly disclose trips to locations including Washington…Read more...

  • In Ohio, 2 of 3 school levies seek new revenue (Warren Tribune Chronicle)
  • Two-thirds of school levies on the ballot in the state next month are asking voters to approve additional local dollars for education, the highest percentage…Read more...

Local Education News

  • New Albany seeks bond-levy combo (Columbus Dispatch)
  • New Albany schools have run out of classroom space, district administrators say. After adding an average of 225 students a year over a decade…Read more...

  • Forecast shows district in black, but with concerns (Hamilton Journal-News)
  • While the five-year forecast for Fairfield City Schools projects the district will remain in the black through 2017, thanks partly to an influx of levy…Read more...

Education News for 07-24-2012

Statewide Stories of the Day

  • More school districts than usual go to ballot (Dispatch)
  • Three dozen school districts in Ohio are asking voters for more money on the Aug. 7 ballot, the most levies in a special election in seven years. Not since 2005, when 51 tax issues for schools appeared on the ballot, have there been more. August ballots typically have fewer school levies than general and primary elections. In the past decade, August ballots have averaged 35 school levies, about a third of them approved. The high was 105 levies in 2005; the low was 18 in 2009. In central Ohio, Groveport Madison, Buckeye Valley and North Fork Local are on next month’s ballot. Read more...

  • State starts inquiry into Toledo Public Schools records (Blade)
  • The Ohio Department of Education has started an investigation into whether Toledo Public Schools violated state law when the district manipulated some students' attendance data to improve state report-card scores, a probe that could result in serious sanctions against educators who were involved. Some might even lose their jobs. The investigation was ordered after TPS Superintendent Jerome Pecko admitted to The Blade last week that schools retroactively withdrew and re-enrolled chronically absent students to erase their poor attendance records. Read more...

  • Ohio Gov. John Kasich, despite his vow against tax hikes, will back the Cleveland schools' proposed 15-mill levy (Plain Dealer)
  • COLUMBUS – Gov. John Kasich, who has vowed to revolt against anything resembling a tax hike and signed an anti-tax pledge with a powerful Washington conservative group, is making an exception and backing the proposed 15-mill Cleveland school levy. "The schools are doing it the right way because they're fixing their problems first, and then asking for more resources. If the governor lived in Cleveland he would vote for it and the governor will give the mayor whatever help he needs," Kasich spokesman Rob Nichols said in a statement. Read more...

  • Districts shift start dates for local schools (Dayton Daily News)
  • School is starting more than a week earlier than usual at two of the Dayton area’s largest public districts this year, and about a week and a half later than it had been at another district. “In May, our kids take a lot of tests — AP (Advanced Placement), SAT, International Baccalaureate, college placement and, of course, the state tests,” said Jim Schoenlein, Kettering City Schools superintendent. “They will now get a couple more weeks of preparation as compared to some others.” Read more...

Local Issues

  • Westerville teachers union weighing strike (Dispatch)
  • The teachers union in Westerville might consider striking if labor negotiations don’t improve with the school board, according to emails sent by union leaders and obtained by The Dispatch. Leaders of the Westerville Education Association, the union that represents about 1,000 teachers in the district, have not returned emails or calls over the past week. But in a half-dozen emails in recent weeks, the union’s leaders discouraged teachers from preparing classrooms early for the upcoming school year or volunteering at certain school events. Read more...

  • CPS teachers excited about new curriculum (Enquirer)
  • CORRYVILLE — New national curriculum standards being piloted at Cincinnati Public Schools this fall will better prepare kids and “bring teaching back to life.” That was how Shroder High School teacher Denise Pfeiffer described it as she joined six other CPS teachers Monday in a presentation to the school board. The teachers were among 46 employees of the region’s largest district who attended a week-long conference last week on the new Common Core Standards. Read more...

  • Chillicothe City Schools' computer network to get $140,000 upgrade (Chillicothe Gazette)
  • CHILLICOTHE - The Chillicothe City Schools' aging computer network, which has been prone to crashes in recent years, will receive a $140,000 upgrade this summer, the board of education decided Monday. The upgrade, which should be complete by September, mainly will focus on the high school, middle school and Mount Logan and Tiffin elementary schools. Allen and Worthington elementary schools received upgrades several years ago. Read more...

  • Riverdale finances 'not good at all' (Courier)
  • MOUNT BLANCHARD - Riverdale School finished the fiscal year with a balance of more than $300,000, but district Treasurer Jodie Ribley said the figure is well below where it should be. "Some of the other county schools have carryovers of $1.3 million right now, we only have $346,000," Ribley told Riverdale school board on Monday. "That's barely enough to cover payroll and no other expenses throughout the month." The district's payroll is about $200,000, she said, and "our expenses each month run between $400,000 and $600,000. Read more...


  • Grading Ohio school principals is a good idea (Plain Dealer)
  • As school districts strive to improve education, it makes sense that Ohio insist that principals be held accountable for student achievement along with teachers. According to Ohio's budget bill, Ohio school districts must create a system for evaluating principals and teachers by 2013. Both principals and teachers are to be graded on similar terms -- half on student achievement and the other half on observations and other measures. And those grades will matter. Schools can base hiring, retention and pay raises on whether principals are rated as accomplished. Read more...

  • Don't be quick to predict outcome of Cleveland's latest school tax levy campaign (Plain Dealer)
  • It's tempting to predict the failure of the Cleveland School District's recently announced campaign to raise school taxes by about 50 percent. The local economy is still in the dumps. Many parents remain disengaged. And school officials are making the same tired promises as their many predecessors. History, however, suggests a knee-jerk forecast could make me look foolish. The Cleveland district's last successful tax request was in 1996 and won approval after early predictions that city voters would reject it. Read more...