HB 920: Understanding School Funding
No matter where you live in Ohio, regardless of whether or not you have children or whether or not they attend public schools, you will be asked to vote periodically on a local school levy. You might as well understand why.
House Bill 920, the Ohio law that outlines how public schools are funded, is complex and confusing. But it has a huge impact on all of us.
Public School Funding Primer
In each Ohio K-12 school district the public schools must place a ballot issue before the voters every several years to support public school education. Ohio citizens need to understand why these levy issues are repeatedly on the ballot. They also need to understand that the districts are not being spendthrifts nor are they necessarily wasting money. The Ohio state laws require these repeated ballot issues to fund public education.
History of Ohio Public School Funding
Public school funding in Ohio is financed from three main sources:
- A small amount comes from the federal government;
- The state gives each school district some money, and
- The largest share comes from local sources in every district.
The most complicated is the state share. Primary and secondary education is one of the largest expenditures in the Ohio state legislative budget. A complex primer on the system of funding of Ohio’s Public Education system would take too long but an overview of the public school funding scenario is necessary for understanding the continuing levy demands Ohio school boards must make on their residents.