Cleveland Heights mom hopes proposed state faculty funding plan will assist Ohio college students


CLEVELAND – Some local parents are closely monitoring the Ohio Fair School Funding Plan being discussed by the Ohio House and Senate in Columbus.

Joan Spoerl is a Cleveland Heights mother worried about her 16-year-old son’s academic future. Spoerl, who testified about the plan at the statehouse, is concerned that the Senate version of the plan will not be enough to help students and lower the tax burden on homeowners.

“I want my child to be strong and not have to worry,” said Spoerl. “Will the children in my ward be cared for, will they have an enriching early experience? The Senate version simply doesn’t have a formula examining what it costs to raise a child. This is not fair and will continue to make us dependent on local taxes. Local Ohio taxpayers have borne the burden because the state has failed to meet its primary constitutional responsibility.

Karen Rego, president of the Cleveland Heights Teachers Union, said both the Senate and House versions of the plan will improve their district’s funding and relieve the districts of the burden of community school vouchers.

But Rego is also concerned that the Senate plan will not be enough to create a real and lasting reform of school funding.

“The Senate plan is only a two-year plan, so we could be back in a few years,” Rego said. “If it doesn’t get better, I don’t know how long we can keep the size of the employees we have.”

Howard Fleeter, an economist at the Ohio Education Policy Institute, said the Senate’s plan calls for $ 6,110 per student per year – an increase of $ 90 year-over-year – while the House version of the plan is around $ 7,200. Dollars per student.

Fleeter said the Senate’s plan did not include an increase in funding for what he called “categorical”.

“This is funding for students with disabilities, English learners, economically disadvantaged students, transportation,” said Fleeter. “The House of Representatives’ approach to finding the amount per student is, in my opinion, broader than the Senate’s approach.”

Wendy Patton, Senior Project Director at Policy Matters Ohio, agreed with Fleeter that the Senate plan uses older property tax data to determine the average per student.

“It’s underfunded, it’s not stable. it is not transparent, “said Patton.” This is not a problem of numbers, it is a problem of political priorities.

The Ohio Senate and House of Representatives will be on the conference committee next week to work out a compromise on the Fair School Funding Plan in hopes of meeting the June 30 deadline.

Meanwhile, the school group “All in for Ohio Kids” has one Calculator that makes it possible Ohio parents must enter their school district name to determine how much more money their district would receive if the Fair School Fund Plan became law.