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Rep. Brent applauds House passage of bipartisan Fair School Funding Plan

Bill would transform broken school funding formula, invest in Ohio's future
December 3, 2020
Juanita O. Brent News

COLUMBUS—Rep. Juanita Brent (D-Cleveland) today voted in favor of the Fair School Funding Plan, House Bill (HB) 305, bipartisan legislation that would transform the way Ohio’s schools are funded. Rep. Brent has long fought to reform the state’s school funding formula, which the Ohio Supreme Court has found unconstitutional four times, beginning with the DeRolph decision in 1997.

"Our state school funding system has been deemed unconstitutional by the Ohio Supreme Court numerous times due to it favoring wealthy districts over those that are low-income. All scholars should have access to good schools regardless of their zip code and where they live. The passage of HB 305 is our first step in the right direction, but there are many more steps that need to be taken to fix school funding. The General Assembly needs to continue to prioritize a focus on equitable funding to ensure our public school system can meet the varying needs of students,” said Rep. Brent.

The Fair School Funding Plan would better determine the base cost of educating a typical Ohio student before supports such as Gifted Education, Special Education, poverty and transportation, among others are added. Ohio’s current formula lacks this input, which was a major factor in the DeRolph decision to rule the formula unconstitutional.

The bill would also address another key DeRolph finding: the current overreliance on property wealth in determining a district’s ability to fund its local share. The Fair School Funding Plan blends property and income wealth to determine a more precise, predictable basis for the local share.

After passing the House, HB 305 now moves to the Ohio Senate for consideration.