Ohio Coalition for Equity and Adequacy of School Funding
To secure high quality educational opportunities for all Ohio school children without diminishing opportunities for students who reside in high capacity districts.
The trajectory of the extraction of funds from public school district funds will doom the traditional public school system unless there are intervening forces. In view of the political climate in Ohio, an appeal to the judicial system seems to be the only viable approach.
The common school system in Ohio originated in 1825 with legislation that established the creation of school districts in townships. The legislation required the election of school directors (board members) and real estate taxes for school support. In 1837, the office of Superintendent of Common Schools was created by the legislature and Samuel Lewis was appointed.
The revised Ohio Constitution of 1851 required the state to secure and fund a thorough and efficient system of common schools throughout the state. State responsibility for the common school system was enhanced by the 1912 amendment, which required the state to provide by law for the organization, administration and control of the public school system supported by public funds. In 1953, Ohioans adopted a constitutional amendment to establish a State Board of Education and Superintendent of Public Instruction to be employed by the board. The State Board of Education was inaugurated in January 1956.
It is abundantly clear that the Constitution requires the state to give priority status to the common school system. There is no hint in the Constitution that the state has any responsibility (or right) to establish and/or fund any alternative to the common school system.
Contrary to the substance and intent of the Ohio Constitution, state officials, beginning in the mid1990’s, started to dabble with vouchers and charters. The so-called pilot projects have grown to a major threat to the common system to the point that the traditional public system could be eliminated, except for serving the most difficult to educate students.
In addition to the enormous cost of transporting private and charter school students, Ohio taxpayers have been charged $25 billion for direct funding of private schools and the charter and voucher systems.