COLUMBUS—Rep. Allison Russo (D-Upper Arlington) today voted in favor of the Fair School Funding Plan, House Bill (HB) 305, bipartisan legislation sponsored by Rep. John Patterson (D-Jefferson) that would transform the way Ohio’s schools are funded. Democratic lawmakers have long fought to reform the state’s school funding formula, which the Ohio Supreme Court has found unconstitutional four times, beginning with the DeRolph decision in 1997.
"Fixing Ohio’s currently unconstitutional funding system is the first step in making sure we provide equal footing for every Ohio child and long overdue," said Rep. Russo. “Transforming our school funding formula will go a long way towards ensuring schools in Ohio provide every student, regardless of their address or economic status, the quality education they deserve.”
The Fair School Funding Plan would better determine the base cost of educating a typical Ohio student before supports such as Gifted Education, Special Education, poverty and transportation, among others are added. Ohio’s current formula lacks this input, which was a major factor in the DeRolph decision to rule the formula unconstitutional.
The bill would also address another key DeRolph finding: the current overreliance on property wealth in determining a district’s ability to fund its local share. The Fair School Funding Plan blends property and income wealth to determine a more precise, predictable basis for the local share.
After passing the House, HB 305 now moves to the Ohio Senate for consideration.