Monday, July 02, 2007

Breaking: No GIRFOF This Year

The coalition advocating a proposed constitutional amendment about school funding announced this afternoon that they anticipate not qualifying for the ballot this year. Currently they have about 150,000 signatures and support resolutions from 166 school districts. They would need over 400,000 signature to qualify for the ballot and aim at collecting 50% more than that to ensure they make it.

From the press release:

    “We are pleased about the dialogue that our efforts have initiated to finally fix Ohio’s unconstitutional school funding system,” said Jim Betts, spokesperson for The Campaign for Ohio’s Future. “We look forward to building upon this momentum by continuing to collect signatures and working with Governor Strickland.”
They are not insisting that a proposal negotiated with the Governor's office track the language in the current proposed amendment. The situation is shifting somewhat, thanks in large part to the Governor's efforts. Some of the concerns addressed in the amendment have now been addressed in the budget -- most notably higher education and tax relief for seniors.

There are a number of reasons the Coalition elected to announce this at this time. One reason is that they wanted to update local school districts so those districts contemplating a school levy would know that they would not be competing with a statewide education funding issue.