Plans for Implementing New Funding System in Ohio

Last Updated: January 28, 2010

This article appeared in the January 2010 Rural Policy Matters.

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The Ohio School Funding Advisory Council has begun meeting to make recommendations for schools on various aspects of the new funding system, enacted last year (see The group’s first recommendations are due by December.
The new “evidence-based” funding plan is intended to support educational methods that are supported by research on best practices. It must be fully phased in by 2019 and replaces the Ohio funding system found unconstitutional by the state’s supreme court in four decisions.
The Council’s mission is to analyze the adequacy of the financing and provide details for how the effectiveness of funding “inputs” should be measured based on best practices in school districts.
In its first meeting, the group set research goals for itself. These goals include how the new system will provide flexibility to districts during implementation; how it will support students who are not achieving; and how it will address funding differences between charter and traditional public schools.
Passage of the new funding system was extremely contentious and the process continues to draw criticism from both within and without the education community. The funding plan includes a waiver provision for years that state revenues do not meet expectations. Nevertheless, many critics suggest that the only question the Advisory Council should address is how districts can deal with significant and ongoing budget deficits.
Read more:
General news coverage:

Legislative requirements for the Advisory Council, including membership:

An editorial opposing the process and asserting that no new state revenue for schools will be forthcoming:

Read more from the January 2010 Rural Policy Matters.