Ohio's governor, Taxin' John Kasich, revealed his new budget proposal this week. It's going over like a lead balloon. It's jam-packed with terrible ideas, revealing precisely why one should never vote in a governor who says they will make their state a test lab for conservative ideology.
Ohioans concerned about equity in education opportunities have been complaining for years that nothing has been done to fix the state's education funding formula, which was declared unconstitutional in 1997 by the Ohio Supreme Court in the DeRolph case and several times since.
We are coming up fast on the 16th anniversary of DeRolph. Now Taxin' John pretends to address the issue in his new budget. When news started to leak out last week, he earned some kudos. When details came out this week, he ... didn't.
This morning's edition of the right-wing Columbus Dispatch features a story headlined "Kasich's Funding Plans Draw Complaints From School Leaders: "This is not what we were told."
Yes, the story actually is in the Dispatch! That's how unfavorable the reaction to Kasich's plan is. Could their infatuation with him be nearing an end?
The story details how superintendents from numerous school districts — many of them in conservative Republican areas — feel they were bamboozled into believing the new plan would benefit them when it doesn't.
The reviews are in:
A week ago, Bob Caldwell was among more than a dozen school superintendents praising Gov. John Kasich’s education plan. ... But now, Caldwell and many other superintendents say they feel duped by Kasich. “We got told all the right things, but he didn’t follow through,” Caldwell said. “This is not what we were told.”And:
Roger Mace, superintendent of Gallipolis City Schools in southeastern Ohio, said, “Everyone in the room when he (Kasich) announced his budget was misled.”And the head of the district where the DeRolph case originated isn't happy either.
“I was hesitantly optimistic when he rolled out the plan. But instead of closing the gap between poor and wealthy districts, it appears to be exacerbated,” said Tom Perkins, superintendent of Northern Local Schools in Perry County.Among the things people are finding as they're starting to dig into Kasich's plan:
Of the 97 districts classified by the state as rural and high poverty, 82 percent would get no additional state aid in 2014, and 76 percent would get zero increase over the next two years. Eight of those districts would get increases averaging at least 5 percent per year.Kasich's response? He doesn't know the details of his own plan — and he doesn't care.
Meanwhile, of the 153 districts classified as urban/suburban with high or very high median income, 44 percent get no additional funding for two years, while another 44 percent get annual increases that average at least 5 percent.
Says the Dispatch,
Kasich said he still had not seen any material detailing how much money each of Ohio’s 612 school districts would receive under his plan. “No, I don’t look at those because it’s the philosophy that matters,” Kasich said after a town-hall meeting with business professionals in Dayton to promote his tax proposals.In other words, it's ALL about ideology for this clown. Improving education for all Ohioans isn't even a goal. Kasich says in the Dispatch article "We shouldn’t be in the business of funding buildings. We should be in the business of funding children, students, and that’s what this plan does.”
Translation: we shouldn't be funding public school systems (i.e. "buildings") but rather handing students checks to sign over to private schools or worse, the infestation of failing for-profit charter schools that are the shame of Ohio but whose operators are among the largest donors to the Ohio Republican Party, its candidates and officeholders.
This is not an effective or efficient way to improve education. But it is an effective and efficient way to dismantle public education and redirect tax dollars to cronies and donors. It's robbing the neediest kids of any hope at a decent education, while forcing taxpayers to fund private interests. It's pure ideology, an ideology that says as much tax money as possible should be funneled into the pockets of the rich and damn the greater good.
People: listen up. When a candidate for office says he'll put his personal political philosophy ahead of practical problem-solving and the welfare of the entire state, DO NOT VOTE FOR THAT CANDIDATE.
Running a state is not about your personal political philosophy. It's about those details Kasich says he has no time for. This governor is worse than a failure. He's a debacle.