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Educational finance is a mess

April 26, 2012
The Town Crier

Dear Editor,

Remember those good old days way back in 2002? Oh how things have changed in just 10 short years. In 2002 you could get a gallon of gas for less than $2.00 and an ounce of gold for less than $400. Everybody Loves Raymond and Friends were still churning out new shows week after week. There wasn't any Facebook creeping or Tweeting. And for goodness sake, Pluto was still a planet.

Despite all the changes, there is one thing in particular that has stood the test of time. On December 11, 2002, the Ohio Supreme Court declared the state education finance system unconstitutional, again. Sure, those in Columbus have been "trying" since the initial 1997 ruling to change the flawed features of the education finance system, but it takes more than "trying". It takes political will. You see, under the current system there is a reliance on local property taxes, which by nature are levied at the local level. So, by default the local school districts are forced to play the role of big bad tax man, not the two parties in Columbus.

This brings me to Sen. Joe Schiavoni who, at the March 29 ACTION meeting, promised community members he would pursue changing the formula for funding public schools by next year. The Senator went so far as to call the current formula criminal. While I don't question the senator's assessment or intentions, I do question the chances of anything changing. Why should I believe he and his colleagues, on both sides of the aisle, are any different than those who have come before them promising to overhaul a flawed system and abide by a Supreme Court ruling? Maybe his youth and short time in politics will benefit him in this fight. I wish him the best of luck.

Bill Hegarty




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