Adequately funding my school

JTF recently recieved this essay from Worthington City Schools senior, Hassan Mizra.

Education helps broaden the minds of young individuals to help them achieve success in the future. All across America students go to school to learn and prepare for their futures. Just imagine the students walking into a classroom with new desks with four stable legs, new chairs that aren’t cracked or missing parts and sitting down to their personal laptop provided by the school. This sounds like a school that most parents would want their children to attend. Wouldn’t it be great if all schools had all these? Wouldn’t it be fascinating if all students were able to partake in an improved quality of education for every school?

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.

Worthington School Board passes resolution opposing HB 136

The Worthington School Board passed a resolution opposing HB 136 earlier this week. Four of the five board members voted in favor of the following resultion

WHEREAS, the Ohio House of Representatives is currently considering legislation that would significantly expand the availability of vouchers for students to attend private or parochial schools; and

WHEREAS, this legislation would entitle any public school student in Ohio to request and to be granted, as a matter of right, a voucher, subject only to a family adjusted gross income of $102,800 or less; and

WHEREAS, the bill provides that students already enrolled in private or parochial schools would be eligible for such vouchers; and

WHEREAS, students receiving vouchers would be able to retain any excess funds when the cost of tuition is less than the value of the voucher for use in any private school or college in Ohio; and

WHEREAS, the operation of the proposed program would take dollars directly from the already financially-beleaguered local public school districts resulting in fewer resources for the education of the remaining students;

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Worthington Board of Education does hereby express its opposition to this legislation, HB 136 School Choice; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Treasurer be directed to spread this Resolution upon the minutes of the Board of Education and that copies of the resolution be forwarded to members of the Ohio House of Representatives.

Teachers sacrifice and prove SB5 is not needed

Example 86734 that SB5 is not needed comes in the form of news that Delaware teachers, through the collective bargaining process, aggreed to a no-raise contract next year.

The 330-member Delaware City Teachers Association won't get raises in base pay or increases for longevity or additional education, saving the district $340,000 in the one-year deal.

Without the pay freeze approved by teachers, six additional positions would have been eliminated, Superintendent Paul Craft said. Already, the district will lose 23 positions as part of $2.5million in cuts the board made final on Monday night. Six of those jobs probably will be cut through layoffs; the rest were through attrition.

"It's a real sacrifice and a real acknowledgment of the challenges that we face, that the teachers were willing to sign a contract to give up what has always been part of the contract," Craft said of the step and education increases.

Example 86735 that teachers continue to demonstrate sacrifice for their communities comes form Worthington

Worthington teachers agreed today to replace their contract for the 2011-12 school year with a three-year pact that would include a freeze on raises, including some step increases, which are awarded for education and experience.
"Our teachers recognize that the state budget cuts will have a devastating effect on our school district," Mark Hill, president of the Worthington Education Association, said in a statement. "We wanted to demonstrate that we want to be part of the solution."
"This agreement is unprecedented," Superintendent Melissa Conrath said in a statement. She said that Worthington teachers "want to contribute to a solution that will ensure the long-term sustainability of the district."

Under the agreement, teachers also would pick up any additional costs of health insurance in 2014. They contribute 14 percent toward their insurance premiums.

If SB5 were to pass and eliminate the ability to collectively bargain, unprecedented deals like this would not be possible. Why break what is clearly proven to be working time and time again, all across the state?