Saturday, March 17, 2007

Team GIRFOF Reacts to the Budget

First off, GIRFOF spokesman Jim Betts reported Friday morning in the Akron Beacon Journal:

    Jim Betts, a spokesman for the Campaign for Ohio's Future that is pushing for a school funding amendment on the ballot this fall, said the budget appears to flat-line fund many school districts.

    ``That hasn't convinced too many people that the governor has demonstrated a real commitment to addressing school funding problems,'' Betts said.
Hmmm. OK, here's the official response from the GIRFOF presser (pdf), posted later on Friday:
    “We appreciate Governor Strickland’s expressed commitment to repairing Ohio’s school funding formula, which remains unconstitutional since the first landmark Ohio Supreme Court ruling 10 years ago. However, we are disappointed that under his budget proposal, nearly half of Ohio school districts would receive no additional state dollars next year and nearly 250 would receive no additional funding for the two-year biennium.

    “We trust that the Governor and legislature will work with all interested parties to achieve the common goal to gain adequate resources to educate Ohio’s children. The sponsors of the amendment would welcome the opportunity to discuss a permanent comprehensive solution with the Governor and members to the General Assembly. Meanwhile, we anticipate that the constitutional amendment will be on the ballot this November so that the voters of Ohio can express their concerns as well. We are currently collecting signatures to ensure this process.”
Draw your own conclusions.


Jill said...

My prediction is that voters will stick with Strickland this time around, meaning, I don't imagine the ballot backers will be able to gather enough votes even if they can gather enough signatures to get the issue on the ballot. It's going to be in the Ohio legislature's best interest to work with the Governor rather than have support for the ballot and so I would imagine that the legislators will work out some way to live with some version of what Strickland wants.

That zero-ing out bothers me too - but I haven't read enough and don't know enough to really understand where the need is or what's going to be done with the money. For example, the South Western District, I believe it's called, gets $8 million dollars in the first year. That's more than twice what any other district is getting in either of the years I think. Why? What is grave about their needs?

I do know that that district is in need, from a few items I've read and a few emails I've received. But are they in need of $8 mil and do they have plans for it - or will the state tell them what to do with it?

I just don't know the answers - I imagine they're out there though, yes?

Anonymous said...

The conclusion is that Strickland duped people during the campaign into thinking he had any idea of what he'd do differently than the Republicans.

His budget is all smoke and mirrors and does NOT invest 3% more per year has he stated in his speech.

Let the ballot people go to the voters. They will lose. Then we'll be done with them.

Jill said...

"His budget is all smoke and mirrors"

Please explain how so.

"Let the ballot people go to the voters. Then we'll be done with them."

Done with the ballot people? What difference does it make whether or not we're done with the ballot people? The majority of the remainder of Ohio still wants school funding reform, just not in the ballot's equation.

Anonymous said...

You guys don't get it.

You can't get more money from people who don't have it. The manufacturing belt of the country is in a very deep recession and the voters simply don't have any more money to give you.

Yes, Ohio needs more money for education, infrastructure modernization and a host of other things but you can't get more money from people who are chronically underemployed, retired on fixed income or who otherwise don't believe in your cause.

We've been over this time and time again. I've been away from there going on fifteen years, and you're all still fighting the same battles you were fighting when we left. Those stiff and stodgy old people don't want to pay to fund educational opportunities for others that they never had themselves...and that's a very backward and narrow minded point of view but that's how it is there. It is one of the primary reasons you cannot retain young talent.

What you REALLY need is to march everyone over the age of seventy off the East Ninth Street pier into Lake Erie, and then start over!

Scott Piepho said...


Workin' on it. I should have some stuff up this weekend and more early next week.


I echo Jill: I don't understand where you are with any of this. For or against the amendment? For or against public school funding. It's always the problem with a from-the-hip rant.

The budget isnt all smoke and mirrors. There are some good things in there and an some actual increases.


Um, interest idea and all. I just don't think they will go willingly.

Jason Haas said...

Agree here will Jill, in general. The amendment has provided cover for the legislature and Ted to work out something.

Anon: He's got nothing? Really. That speech sounded awfully different than anything that came from Voinovich or Taft.

Question: does every school district need an increase? And if some districts receive an increase in parity aid, isn't that more incentive not to give more money to districts with high per pupil expenditure levels?

Anonymous said...

Pho, I think I know who you are. You grew up in Wadsworth, a couple of years behind me.

The reality of the situation is that you'll keep beating your head against a wall, trying to get those dried up, angry, bitter people who live on fixed income and spent their whole lives inside a factory to do something they don't want to do and don't have the money to do...and ultimately waste YOUR life in the process.

That's a shitty deal if I've ever heard one.

What's keeping you there?

I've lived in neighborhoods north of Dallas where all of my neighbors were degreed or better, were primarily from the north and most all of them had moved to Dallas because the Rust Belt no longer offered the kinds of opportunities they wanted for themselves and for their families. The guy across the street was from Pittsburgh. The guy to my left was from northern Virginia. The guy directly in back was from Syracuse. The guy catty-corner in back was from Chicago and is a retired VP of Human Resources for Travelers Insurance! He told me some war stories that would curl your hair.

This one neighborhood in Plano had prep school quality public schools that sent kids to Ivy League colleges every year. They had excellent infrastructure, easy access to DFW airport and ALL of the homes were brick, custom built AND sold for under three hundred grand. The only reason we left was because we were offered better opportunities in California...but I do miss Texas. I'd go back in a second.

Why on Earth would anyone with your skills and resume continue paying those kinds of taxes if he didn't have to?

Are you some kind of martyr?

Scott Piepho said...

Root: Yeah, you've pretty nailed it, though you have me at a disadvantage as I can't place anyone who would go by "Root."

I won't go through chapter and verse about why I'm here. Suffice it to say it's about a family situation and a wife far more talented than I. But don't weep for me. I'm happy here. I'd beat my head against the wall a hell of a lot more if I had to live in Texas.