School vouchers hurt voucher students, district students, school districts, other political subdivisions, public retirement systems, and school district employees.
How Do Vouchers Affect Municipalities?
1. When vouchers extract money from the funds for public schools, the school district must ask residents to pass levies to provide increases in property taxes to make up for the loss. Ohio residents are responsible for 72.5% of property taxes with businesses being responsible for the other 27.5%. Citizens get weary of the many tax increases and, in some cases, refuse to pass new levies. This is one of the big factors families consider when making a change in housing.
2. Inflationary rises for other needed services, such as fire and police protection, infrastructure updates, like sewer and water maintenance and roads, may also require more money and more levies may be issued.
3. Schools still have the same costs for providing staff, maintaining buildings and providing transportation. They must also transport students to private schools adding a significant amount of money to provide that service as additional buses and drivers may be needed.
4. Vouchers often promote segregation and discrimination against students of color, those of a different religion and those with disabilities as private schools can choose which students they admit.
5. The extraction of money from the school district may reduce the extracurricular activities offered by the school and also require a student to pay a significant amount to engage in those activities. This may prohibit many students who would gain skills and knowledge not taught in the regular curriculum. These activities often develop personal and professional skills that truly make a difference in a student’s life.
6. All of these are things families consider when moving into an area or are simply looking for a different home.
I’ve often heard legislators make the statement, “Throwing money at an issue doesn’t solve the problem,” especially when it comes to school funding.
If not, why are they so fast to take it away from the public schools and “throw” it at “choice” families?
~Donna Wilson, former Fairborn, Ohio City Councilwoman
(Originally published by Bill Phillis on Monday, 1/24/22.)