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Lawmakers bump Ohio school funding revamp to 2021 to-do list

Posted at 4:06 PM, Dec 11, 2020

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Lawmakers pushing to pass an overhaul of Ohio’s convoluted school funding system to make it more equitable have come up short during this legislative session, bumping it to the Legislature's 2021 to-do list.

The House approved a bipartisan proposal earlier this month, but Republicans in the Senate, who hold a majority, indicated senators won’t vote on the plan before the legislative process restarts in January.

The Senate Finance Committee’s GOP chairman, Sen. Matt Dolan of Chagrin Falls, said more analysis is needed about the accuracy and feasibility of the proposal’s eventual price tag, an estimated $2 billion. Dolan said he wants to work on the funding formula in conjunction with the state budget process happening during the first half of 2021.

The proposal would eliminate funding caps and guarantees, and take into account a community’s ability to help fund its schools, factoring in not only property values but local income levels. It also would route public charter school funding directly from the state rather than through local districts.

Supporters said the plan would address many problems with the complicated funding patchwork created since Ohio’s formula was found unconstitutional in 1997.