Education funding

Schools May Be Missing Out On Casino Revenue

Jun 16, 2015
State Sen. Bill Coley says over the past three years, the lost tax revenue amounts to roughly $165 million.
Erik Drost / Flickr Creative Commons

 When Ohio voters gave the "okay" for casinos to hit the state more than five years ago, there was a catch. Operators would have to pay a 33 percent tax on their revenue, calculated by subtracting "promotional credits" and payouts from their overall earnings. A chunk of that money then would be funneled to local governments and schools. One state senator thinks the current equation means districts are losing big.


Gov. John Kasich got the attention of nearly every school official in Ohio when he said this while rolling out his school funding proposal in January.

“If you are poor, you’re going to get more; if you’re richer, you’re going to get less,” said Kasich.

Leaders from schools in some of the state’s poorest areas came to Columbus today, to say that when they studied Gov. John Kasich’s school funding formula, they didn’t like what they learned.

Governor Kasich has released his long awaited plan for funding Ohio’s schools. Kettering Republican Senator Peggy Lehner is the Chair of the Senate Education Committee. She joins McCord to discuss the impact of the Governor's education proposal.

Ohio's governor is proposing a school-funding overhaul he says will help poor districts compete more evenly while introducing changes to promote innovation and performance.

The plan unveiled by Republican John Kasich Thursday is focused on giving all students the resources to succeed. Kasich's funding plan would boost districts that are lagging in property values and household incomes.

This week, Gov. John Kasich releases his long-awaited school funding formula to school superintendents and officials, and then statewide in a live virtual town hall meeting Thursday night. Details are scarce but there is a lot of speculation on what might be in this plan.

Gov. Kasich has referred to his formula several times, including in a speech last month.

A national education expert last week delivered a less-than-stellar assessment of the nation's school reform efforts before a Cleveland audience. Linda Darling-Hammond is an education professor at Stanford, and led President Obama's education transition team in 2008.

Kettering Republican Senator Peggy Lehner was appointed this week to continue her work as chair of the Senate Standing Committee on Education. She previewed what's ahead this year with Emily McCord. Lehner says isnt' likely to see any more cash earmarked for education in the upcoming state budget, but other ways to find revenue are in the works to help Ohio's schools, like Governor Kasich's plan to overhaul the school funding system.

2012 saw many education reforms in Ohio. . Students got new tests and requirements. Teachers got a new evaluation systems. Charter schools and universities saw changes as well.  But as StateImpact Ohio’s Ida Lieszkovszky reports, the New Year will bring plenty of changes to the way the state’s schools are run. 

Ohio runs on a two-year budget, but that doesn’t mean off years are slow. Governor Kasich crammed in several education initiatives into his mid-cycle budget. Several other education bills passed the legislature. Among the new programs is the third grade-reading guarantee.

The latest plan to help maintain the pension system for Ohio public school teachers would have them pay more into their retirement accounts.

The Columbus Dispatch reports the plan has been approved by the board of the State Teachers Retirement System, which has 470,000 members. It's up for consideration by lawmakers who would need to sign off on it.

The plan is aimed at saving $13 billion in accrued liabilities. It's the fourth package of its kind sent to lawmakers since 2009.