Thursday, April 4, 2013

Kasich Through the Looking Glass

You remember the Lewis Carroll story of Alice and her adventures through the looking glass.  She entered a world in which reality was strangely distorted.  This is kind of the feeling here in Ohio as our governor continues to defend his highly inequitable school funding plan.  (Cleveland City Club, April 3)  Poor districts will receive more money under this plan while wealthy districts get less, according to Kasich.

Let's look at the facts.  These are not opinion, but cold, hard data which is easily accessible to the public:

When Ohio districts are arranged by per pupil expenditure:
Of the top quartile of  districts, that is the districts who already spend the most per pupil to educate their students, 47% receive an increased amount.  This includes Orange in Cuyahoga County with a current per pupil expenditure of over $21,000.
Of the bottom quartile of districts, 32% receive an increased amount.

When Ohio districts are arranged by median income of residents, Kasich fares better:
Of the top quartile of most affluent districts, 34% receive an increased amount.
For the bottom quartile of districts, 53% receive an increased amount.
Significantly more districts with poorer residents do get more money.  However, this also means that 47% of the poorest districts in the state receive NO new money while over a third of the very wealthiest districts DO receive more, and some considerably more.  In fact, Olentangy, the district with the highest median income in the entire state, receives 330% more state funding under this formula.

When Ohio districts are arranged by % of poverty:
Of the quartile of schools with the highest rates of poverty in the state, 54% receive additional funds.  This means 46% of the districts with the neediest learners get no new funds, and many will see severe reductions when the guarantee money disappears in two years if this budget passes.
Of the quartile of schools with the lowest rates of poverty, 30% receive additional funds.

Depending on what you mean by "poor districts," none of these scenarios provides the poorest quartile of districts with additional funds.  The best the plan does is provide a little over half of the poorest districts with money, leaving the others to flounder over the deep cuts from the past Kasich budget that cut $1.8 billion from schools.  And no matter how you slice it, whether by per pupil expenditure, median income, or percent of poverty, many of the wealthy districts get more while 64% of the districts in Ohio receive NO additional funds at all.

Kasich is either lying....or he has gone through Alice's looking glass and has a distorted view of reality.

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