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Report Says Ohio Needs To Invest More In K-12 Education

On Jan. 24, 2019 photo students listen as social studies teachers Judi Galasso, center, and Jonathan Duffy, left, lead the introductory class of their American Thought and Political Radicalism course.
John Minchillo
Associated Press

A progressive-leaning coalition of health and human service organizations and labor unions says Ohio is falling behind the rest of the nation in some key areas. The One Ohio Now report says the state has not invested enough in schools, health and community safety.

Ohio Federation of Teachers President Melissa Cropper says just over half of Ohio’s K-12 students are economically disadvantaged, an increase of 37 percent in the past decade. She notes the percentage of homeless students has more than doubled and the percentage of students in foster care has risen by more than half.

While the needs have increased, state money hasn’t.

“In 2018, funding for Ohio’s school districts fell by $610 million, a 6.7 percent drop from a high in 2010, forcing an over-reliance on property taxes which has been declared unconstitutional four times," Cropper says.

The One Ohio Now report recommends the state close tax loopholes. It also suggests income and business taxes on those ablest to pay be increased, something that is unlikely to happen in the Republican-dominated state government.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment.