The Wilmington school board has endorsed Ohio House Bill (HB) 1 — also known as the Fair School Funding Plan.
In making the endorsement, board members passed a resolution stating Ohio’s current school funding system “lacks a rational basis for determining both the cost of educating students, and how the funding of education is shared between the state and local taxpayers.”
Ask your local school board if it has passed a resolution supporting HB 1- the Cupp-Patterson Fair School Funding Plan. If the BOE hasn’t done so, please share this easy-to-copy-and-paste text based on the Wilmington City School District’s statement:
A RESOLUTION TO ENDORSE THE FAIR SCHOOL FUNDING PLAN, AS CONTAINED IN HOUSE BILL 1, AND TO ENCOURAGE THE 134TH GENERAL ASSEMBLY TO EXPEDITE ITS PASSAGE
WHEREAS, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled in DeRolph v. State of Ohio (1997) that Ohio’s method for funding schools through the state’s school foundation program was unconstitutional under Article VI, Section 2 of the Ohio Constitution; and
WHEREAS, in DeRolph, the Ohio Supreme Court declared that Ohio’s school funding system was over-reliant on local property taxes, and as such, was inherently discriminatory to children based on where they reside for disparities exist between communities of affluence and impoverishment; and
WHEREAS, since the DeRolph decision, the Ohio General Assembly has failed to create a funding system that meets Ohio’s constitutional standard of securing “… a thorough and efficient system of common schools throughout the state”; and
WHEREAS, Ohio’s solution to satisfy the Ohio Supreme Court’s order has been to pass a series of biennial budgets containing politically expedient remedies that have not eliminated the over-reliance on local property tax or mitigated the discriminatory nature inherent in the series of “funding fixes” legislated over the last 23 years; and
WHEREAS, Ohio’s previous biennial budget crafted by the 132nd Ohio General Assembly, and effective July 1, 2018, through June 30, 2019, created a funding system with “capped” districts, and districts receiving a minimum level of funding referred to as the “guarantee”; and
WHEREAS, the previous biennial budget identified 503 school districts out of 610, or 82%, either “capped” in their funding, or on the “guarantee,” which is a testament that Ohio’s funding model is not effective; and
WHEREAS, Ohio’s current biennial budget crafted by the 133rd General Assembly, froze foundation funding for Ohio schools at 2019 fiscal year levels (effectively placing all districts on “the guarantee”), which funding levels have subsequently been cut due to the economic impact of the Coronavirus pandemic; and
WHEREAS, the current school funding system in Ohio lacks a rational basis for determining both the cost of educating students and how the funding of education is shared between the state and local taxpayers; and
WHEREAS, Representative Robert Cupp (R) and Representative John Patterson (D) convened a statewide workgroup, made up of eight practicing school district CFO/Treasurers and eight practicing Superintendents (the “Cupp-Patterson Workgroup”), to devise a new formula, and recognizing that Ohio needs an overhaul to its school funding system, have spent the last three years determining the inputs necessary to fund a “thorough and efficient system of common schools” that reduces the over-reliance on local property tax and creates equity in the state foundation system; and
WHEREAS, the Cupp-Patterson Workgroup carefully analyzed national research, best practices, actual Ohio school district spending data, and drew on their own extensive experience in educating students and operating school districts to make recommendations for a school funding system that meets the needs of all Ohio’s students in the 21st century; and
WHEREAS, the Cupp-Patterson Workgroup developed recommendations that laid out a rational, transparent, comprehensive and – most of all – fair system for funding schools based on the actual cost of providing a basic education for all students in Ohio (the “Base Cost”); and
WHEREAS, the Cupp-Patterson Workgroup developed a method of sharing the funding of the Base Cost between the state and local taxpayers that is easy to understand and based on a fair, defensible measure of the capacity to generate funds locally; and
WHEREAS, the Cupp-Patterson Workgroup identified and provided a framework for providing additional resources to meet needs beyond those of basic education, including the areas of the social, emotional, safety, and mental health of students, the additional challenges driven by students living in poverty, with special needs, with limited English proficiency, and who are academically gifted; and
WHEREAS, the Cupp-Patterson Workgroup developed recommendations for properly funding Career Technology Centers, Educational Service Centers, and Charter and Community schools; and
WHEREAS, based on the research and work outlined above, the Cupp-Patterson Workgroup produced and recommended the Fair School Funding Plan, which was introduced in House Bill 1; and
WHEREAS, the Ohio General Assembly and the Governor of Ohio have an opportunity to devise a funding formula, as outlined in the Fair School Funding Plan, that is an investment in Ohio’s children and Ohio’s future.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Board of Education of_________________________ that:
It is necessary to formally endorse the Fair School Funding Plan, as introduced in House Bill 1 of the 134th General Assembly, to ensure that K-12 schools in Ohio are funded using a rational school funding system that meets the needs of all Ohio’s students in the 21st century. The school district treasurer should be authorized to deliver or cause to be delivered a certified copy of this Resolution to community leaders; to members of the Ohio House of Representatives and the Ohio Senate, including Reps. Jamie Callender and Bride Rose Sweeney; and to the office of Governor Michael DeWine.
Passing a resolution is important in educating citizens about the Fair School Funding plan, communicating the values of the community, and showing solidarity with the hundreds of other school districts that also expect this funding plan to pass. It also serves as a formal demand for Ohio legislators to get busy and pass HB 1, a rational, transparent, comprehensive and fair system for funding schools based on the actual cost of providing a basic education for all students in Ohio.