School funding discussed at South Range forum

School funding forum at South Range

CANFIELD, Ohio (WYTV) – Seven local school districts have levy issues on Tuesday’s ballot and every one wishes they didn’t have to ask voters for the money.

On Thurday, a special meeting was held at the former South Range School to talk about the issue of school funding. It answered questions about Ohio’s system and how it could work better.

The Ohio Supreme Court ruled in 1997 that the school funding formula relied too heavily on property taxes and needed to be made more fair.

“There does not seem to be an equitable solution to a long-standing funding problem. For 164 years, we have been funded this way and we can’t seem to get it right,” Mahoning County Educational Service Center CFO Blaise Karlovic said.

Districts seeking money on Tuesday’s ballot inlcude:

  • South Range Local School District: 4.9-mill, three-year additional levy for emergency requirements
  • Hubbard Exempted Village School District: 4.9-mill, five-year renewal levy for emergency requirements
  • Lakeview Local School District: 4.5-mill bond issue for construction and a 0.5-mill continuous operating levy
  • Liberty Local School Disrict: 7.75-mill, five-year renewal for emergency requirements
  • Lordstown Exempted Village School District: 5.4-mill, five-year renewal and a 5.9-mill, five-year renewal
  • Maplewood Local School District: 5.4-mill, 10-year renewal levy
  • Newton Falls Exempted Village School District: 4.5-mill, five-year renewal levy

“When you fix thing long-term, there will be winners and losers, but to make that change it’s going to be a heavy lift and people are going to have to get on board. And local people are going to have to voice their concern to the state instead of their school board,” State Sen. Joe Schiavoni, D-Boardman, said.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich already has criticized a House budget bill that guaranteed no school district loses money.

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