Steve Dyer’s July 10 10th Period–Taxpayers to subsidize privatize school tuitions at greater rate than urban public school children.
Steve Dyer, a former legislator, was the prime architect of the Evidence-Based School Funding model during the Strickland administration. That model was developed during the recession at the end of the first decade of the twenty-first century. Governor Kasich scrapped the model in favor of having no model.
In the July 10, 10th Period blog, Dyer shows that even the lowest property-wealth districts which receive a higher percentage of state funds, receive less average of dollars per pupil than voucher recipients.
The urban districts received about the same state dollars per pupil as voucher recipients. All other types of districts receive less. The rich suburban districts receive 240% less.
Taxpayers to subsidize private school tuitions at greater rate than urban public school children
Massive tuition subsidies dampen school funding formula win
JUL 10, 2023
Look, I’m really excited that the Ohio General Assembly followed through on its promise to continue implementing the Fair School Funding Plan — the state’s second attempt at meeting its constitutional mandate to provide a thorough and efficient system of public schools for its 1.7 million students.
I mean, in nearly 2/3 of Ohio school districts, the state is already meeting or exceeding its promised funding amounts from two years ago. And while the lion’s share of the remaining shortage is felt in the state’s most needy districts (something I expressed concern about earlier this year), the fact that the state is actually starting to fulfill promises made to Ohio’s 1.7 million public school students is encouraging. Again, though, only if they finish the job, of course.
But the massive increase to private school tuition subsidies that accompanied the public school increase is a colossal turd in the punchbowl. How colossal?
Try this on for size:
Because the state increased the private school tuition subsidy to $8,407 per high school student, the state will now provide $210 more per student to parents whose kids are already in private schools than they will to public school students in Ohio’s urban core of Akron, Canton, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Toledo or Youngstown schools, which educate 173,000 students.
In fact, that $8,407 per pupil amount is greater than the per pupil state aid for nearly 8 in 10 Ohio students. A remarkable 1.13 million Ohio students will get less state aid than the parents of a private school student will receive next year.
Oh, and did I mention that not a penny of these tuition subsidies will be audited by a public entity? So we have no idea if the money is being spent educating kids or buying sweet rides for private school administrators. (Because that’s never happened in this state).
And the disparity is despite Ohio’s historic public school funding increase that occurred in this budget — again, a great accomplishment.
But man. This is crazy.
The difference is outrageous enough between private school tuition subsidies and public school funding in urban districts. But the disparity is even greater in other types of districts. Here’s a list (the different district types are categorized that way by the Ohio Department of Education):
[Table can be viewed online]
It would be one thing if vouchers (taxpayer provided private school tuition subsidies) provided better options for students. But study after study has demonstrated pretty clearly that even in urban districts, generally the public schools do better than the private schools — in Ohio, it’s almost in 9 of 10 instances that the public outperforms the private. Never mind that vouchers have also delayed critical investment in the educations of the 1.7 million Ohio public school students or added significantly to racial segregation.
I guess I have just one question for Senate President Matt Huffman (with whom I served in the Ohio House): If you’re so concerned about the “sustainability” of the Fair School Funding Plan as you claim, why aren’t you similarly concerned about the “sustainability” of this voucher scheme that would provide more per pupil state funding to parents who are already sending their kids to schools whose books aren’t open to the public?
Perhaps Huffman’s not really worried about the whole “sustainability” thing.
Maybe he’s worried about the whole “public education” thing.
Learn about EdChoice Vouchers: An Existential Threat to Public Schools