2018-2019 budget shortchanges Ohio students
Posted October 10, 2017 in Press Releases
From kindergarten to college, the 2018-2019 Ohio budget underfunds public education, forcing secondary schools to do more with less and universities and community colleges to charge some of the highest tuition in the nation.
Policy Matters Ohio examines the state of Ohio’s K-through-college funding in three “Budget Bites” released today, and it’s disappointing. Funding for the state K-12 public school system fell slightly when adjusted for inflation. Funding for the Ohio College Opportunity Grant (OCOG), which helps the state’s neediest students afford college, falls about $150 million short a year. The Inter-University Council of Ohio, an association of public universities, requested lawmakers increase State Share of Instruction (SSI) funding by 4.5 percent, or $180 million a year, in the two-year budget. Instead, they increased it by 2 percent for over the last budget— well below what Ohio universities need to maintain current quality and services. Today Ohio is among the five most expensive states for public college.
“Ohio policymakers say they want the state to be competitive and business friendly, but we can’t be if we don’t have a skilled and educated workforce,” said Policy Matters State Policy Fellow Victoria Jackson. “When we starve K-12 and higher education, we’re not only robbing students of important formative experiences, we’re hurting the Ohio economy.”
On top of chronic underfunding, too many of the state’s public education dollars support private and for-profit institutions that drain resources away from higher performing public schools. In 2018 and 2019, charter schools will siphon off nearly $2 billion from school districts. In 2016, $7.3 million in OCOG funding went to for-profit colleges that have been shown to leave students in more debt and with lower earnings than public colleges.
“In the 2018-2019 budget, lawmakers had the opportunity to set Ohio’s public education system on a better path, instead they doubled down on policies we know don’t work,” Jackson said. “They are funneling taxpayer money into failing institutions and draining resources from public education to cut taxes for the wealthy and give big breaks to corporations. There are better uses of our resources, like investing in Ohio’s future through our students.”