Clermont County has three levies on the ballot, all different in size and scope. Milford, Batavia and West Clermont residents have received a lot of information from different sources regarding these ballot initiatives. This brief by Greg Lawson is another piece of information to weigh (or not) while thinking about Ohio Schools and funding problems.
It’s interesting to see that school spending was less than inflation during the collective bargaining issue of 1983. It quickly stabilizes and then seems to pull away sharply from the graph entitled, “Education Spending Outpaces Inflation.” Lawson also points out that Ohio education spending went down during Gov. Strickland’s last two years:
State-only spending actually declined during the last biennium under former Governor Ted Strickland by a 6.6 percent in Fiscal Years 2010 and 1.6 percent in 2011. While it is true that Federal stimulus dollars back filled these reductions and added cushioning for many districts, that funding source was always intended to be temporary.
What does this mean for the schools in Clermont County? As a whole, these challenges will continue until either the economy rebounds spectacularly or the public is willing/able to digest these levies in order to provide the educational services desired. by the community. The answer to where public education will go in the future lies in the organizations that make up the public education apparatus. That includes groups such as the Ohio School Board Association, The Ohio Association of School Business Officials, Buckeye Association of School Administrators, the various state and local educators unions, and the state and federal governments. If the information listed in this policy brief is accurate, then the public has to decide whether or not they want that to continue on the same path. Or will a Grand Bargain occur between parties to change the delivery of education via a new school funding model, wage/benefit changes, school choice decisions, or some other national change in the role of public education.
This is a general study of all Ohio, and each district will have its own individual identity. If you are leery of the Buckeye Institutes numbers, then please check Ohio DOE’s Power User Reports for information on your own district. Each district should also provide whatever contractual or budgetary forecast you want (FOIA Request), as long as you detail exactly what information you like and give a reasonable timeframe for them to complete your request. Not all information is readily available, depending on the nature of your request and whether or not there is a single document (or documents) that contains your specific information. There will be a cost for copies most probably, but if it is a common document, you may be able to view at the office.