Thursday, July 05, 2007

Strickland Tackling School Funding; Meeting with Amendment Coalition.

Again, this is something I've alluded to but didn't have clearance to blog. Today the Beacon Journal's Dennis Willard writes that the Governor will meet with members of the coalition that came together to propose the school funding amendment as he starts the long process of forging a consensus on school funding reform.

I'm bracing myself for a spate of posts on the right crowing that Strickland doesn't have a school funding reform plan. Well, duh. The Governor's position has always been that he wants to lead to state toward school funding reform as opposed to imposing a plan on everyone. A process bringing all the parties together to reach consensus is by no means guaranteed to succeed, but proposing reform without consulting those parties is guaranteed to fail.

The budget was the first step. Strickland now has momentum and credibility to move forward with something more complex and permanent. At the same time, the stakeholder groups certainly have been made aware of their limitations. They didn't have the strength to get their proposal on the ballot and they certainly don't have the muscle to reform school funding all by themselves.

Personally, I couldn't be happier. My discomfort with the GIRFOF is not secret to even casual readers, but reform in nonetheless needed. We have a Governor who can actually lead and is willing to take on the challenge directly, as opposed to dishing it off on a blue ribbon panel. Finally, Akron appears to be in a decent place to weather a couple more years until reforms are in place.