• 68°

Cutting off funding is not the answer

The way Ohio funds its school districts may be unconstitutional, but the latest ploy by the coalition suing the state over its funding system is not the answer.

Tuesday, May 22, 2001

The way Ohio funds its school districts may be unconstitutional, but the latest ploy by the coalition suing the state over its funding system is not the answer.

In an interview with the Columbus Dispatch this weekend, William L. Phillis, executive director of the Ohio Coalition for Equity and Adequacy of School Funding, said the group is thinking about asking the Ohio Supreme Court to cut off money to schools so they cannot reopen next school year. This would do nothing but punish students far beyond what they are being penalized for receiving an "inadequate" education.

Even without the state funding, some of the richer school districts could be able to open in the fall, operating on locally generated funds. The poorer districts – the ones the coalition is supposedly fighting for – are the ones that would suffer.

We agree wholeheartedly that the state’s school-funding system needs to be changed so that each and every school district has the opportunity to offer its students an adequate education. Such audacious tactics, however, would do nothing more but add fuel to a fire that is already burning out of control.

On the other hand, lawmakers need to take this matter very seriously and come up with a plan that will satisfy the coalition and put this issue to rest.