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Board Passes Resolutions Supporting Fair School Funding, Repeal of H.B. 70

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At the Regular Session of the Westerville City Schools Board of Education, held Monday evening, April 22, resolutions were passed in support of the Fair School Funding Plan and in favor of repealing the School Takeover Law. 

The State of Ohio is in the process of establishing the biennium budget for fiscal years 2020 and 2021.  In response, House Representatives Robert Cupp and John Patterson created the Cupp-Patterson Workgroup, made up of superintendents and treasurers, to develop a school funding formula that is transparent, understandable, and easy to modify to reflect changes in educational policy and practices.  Their proposed Fair School Funding Plan allocates funding to districts based on variables related to the whole student that include social and emotional wellbeing, and eliminates the transfer of local tax dollars to charter schools. 

Westerville City Schools, according to the Board, is annually underfunded by approximately twelve million dollars, due to artificial caps in the current formula.  The Fair School Funding Plan also recommends that these artificial caps be eliminated.  The Westerville City Schools Board of Education supports implementing a school funding plan that does not violate the Ohio Constitution, provides a thorough and efficient education to all students, and is fair to all taxpayers.  Read their full resolution at https://tinyurl.com/wcsdFSF .

Ohio’s School Takeover Law

The Westerville City Schools Board of Education believes that Ohio’s School Takeover Law, House Bill 70, should be repealed.  They said so in a strongly worded resolution that was also passed on April 22. 

The original purpose of H.B. 70 sought only to enhance local control and authority by establishing community learning centers to provide services for students and their families, and the community at large.  But that was turned inside out and vitally altered.  The amended version created a mechanism to strip locally elected school boards of all power and shifted complete authority to unelected Chief Executive Officers who answer not to the students, parents, voters or taxpayers who rely on that school district, but to an appointed commission with no ties to the community.  The Board said the process of amending H.B. 70 was intentionally orchestrated to minimize negative pushback from the public following months of behind-the-scenes work that played out within a few hours on one single day – June 24, 2015.  That is when it passed out of the Senate Education Committee, passed out of the Senate, sent to the House, and then passed out of the House. 

Ohio citizens never agreed to any initiative to give the state authority to take over struggling public school districts.  Being able to cast a ballot for school board members who have no power is meaningless and dilutes the rights of Ohio voters to an unconstitutional degree, the Board contends.  They called for replacement of the policy with an evidence-based turnaround model that restores local control and improves student outcomes.  Read this resolution at https://tinyurl.com/wcsdHB70