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Make fair school funding permanent

DEAR EDITOR:

Gov. Mike DeWine consulted both Republicans and Democrats regarding education within the 2022-23 budget, but Ohioans must closely watch what monies are received and how they’re spent for education.

Whether you have kids in the school system and whether you rent or own your property, the quality of education affects not just our children, but our economy, including jobs and housing values.

Republicans passed HB 2, which limits broadband funding for rural schools. Also, HB 290 (in committee) specifies that all computed funding for educating each student will follow that student in EdChoice vouchers if parents choose. The student’s home district will be stripped of those budgeted funds, and it will gradually destabilize.

Parents are unwitting victims who believe that voucher system schools charge no tuition, but those schools bill the state for the money budgeted for the child’s community. Right now, almost 18 percent of students attend voucher system schools, and Gov. DeWine is expanding the program to two types of vouchers. Democrats promote quality education that’s free for all, using public funding to buttress the strength of our teachers and administrators.

According to the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), every dollar spent on public education increases a home’s value by 20 dollars. The NBER tells us that “additional school expenditures have a beneficial impact … whether those residents have children in the school system or not.”

DeWine approved in the budget a graduated decrease in personal state taxation. Those making less than $200,000 will see little change, and the wealthy will receive larger reductions, while school districts will come out on the short end. That’s what happened when a prior Republican governor boasted of cutting personal state taxes; but the local communities struggled to replace what that money had funded, and we ended up with a ton of levies on our ballots. Call Gov. DeWine and say no to that.

Ohio Democrats steered successful passage of The Fair School Funding Plan, but Republicans insist it must be revisited in two years. Call Ohio House Speaker Bob Cupp at 614-466-9624 and tell him to make it a permanent law. Call your representative, also. Democrats allocated $125 billion to schools through President Biden’s American Rescue Plan Act, including voucher system schools. They also want to implement infrastructure goals that will touch and lift up not just the students who attend our public schools but also the schools themselves so we fulfill significant cultural improvements within our communities. We all want to remain dominant as world leaders in education and academia. We cannot offset that success by allowing the significant few to benefit from tax cuts that deprive our children and devalue our homes.

LINDA COCUZZI RICHTER

Niles

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