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The Statehouse News Bureau provides educational, comprehensive coverage of legislation, elections, issues and other activities surrounding the Statehouse to Ohio's public radio and television stations.

Householder Suggests Funding Ohio Schools With "Redistribution" Of Wealth

Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder [Statehouse News Bureau]
Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder

The head of the Ohio House wants the state to come up with a new way of funding schools. And he threw out a suggestion Wednesday that could involve what's often been called a "Robin Hood" approach.

Some wealthier school districts have high family incomes and business properties that contribute a lot of revenue while others districts cannot, Speaker Larry Householder said.

"So they are putting every effort they've got into trying to educate their kids and give them a better life and other school districts, I don't begrudge them, but they don't have that same effort. So we've got to find a way to balance that out so maybe everybody in the state is putting together the same amount of effort and those dollars are flowing across school districts all over the state of Ohio," Householder said.

Lawmakers need to change how schools are funded, Householder said. He suggested redistributing local tax dollars to the state as part of the solution. As it stands now, he said some wealthier districts benefit from the state formula.

“If we had a fund where the money would flow into, and everyone had the same amount of local effort, those dollars would be, I would say, an adequate level of funding clear across the state of Ohio and of course, you’ve got those situations like an Olentangy where it’s possible they could do even more,” Householder said.

He said he’s not talking about raising taxes but rather an adjustment. Though Householder admitted this idea takes away some local control.

"Well, there's always an argument about local control and I'm a big supporter of local control but let's face it, local control has been gone for a long, long time in many of these situations but you can still have local control and make sure there's a state fund out there that is taking care of school districts in an adequate level," Householder said. 

Householder said this is just one of the ideas lawmakers are talking about right now and it’s possible they might have to come up with something to put on the ballot.

Copyright 2019 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.