To this day, school districts struggle with funding problems, forced to put levies on the local ballots and hope that they pass in these economically trying times. Perhaps because the legal debate over educational funding originated in my own backyard, I feel a special tie to this issue. As such, I am proud to say that the General Assembly will be addressing Ohio’s school funding formula in 2012.

We soon will be holding hearings to collect testimony from citizens who know the ins and outs of our education system. These individuals will include school administrators and teachers, as well as parents. Our goal in implementing this bipartisan procedure is to get a full and accurate picture of our school funding situation and how it affects Ohioans at the local level.

After 15 long years of waiting, I understand that some people are impatient for a government fix to this funding problem, but we must remember that a hastily thrown together solution will benefit no one in the long run. My colleagues and I will use the information gathered in the public hearings to guide our search for a resolution to this enduring issue.

Through this whole process, we must not lose sight of the fact that money is not the sole ingredient in the recipe for student achievement. Bandaging an under-performing school with dollar bills will not immediately solve their problems. We must still hold lagging districts accountable and laud schools producing high student achievement. Attacking the school funding predicament from many angles will help us to understand what is truly needed to provide a strong education to Ohio’s students.

Overall, I am confident that, with continued attention, the General Assembly can change Ohio’s school funding formula for the better. There is little else that is as important as a child’s education, and I am dedicated to finding a more effective way to fund their future success.


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