It's no secret that the state's education funding system is broken--the Ohio Supreme Court declared it unconstitutional four times. But how to fix it?
Both of the state's gubernatorial candidates had a chance to answer that question last week at a meeting of the Ohio School Boards Association. Republican Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell reiterated his devotion to the 65 Percent Solution, which would require districts to spend at least that much on classroom instruction--as opposed to administrative costs. He also called for reforming collective bargaining and outsourcing some administrative duties.
And Democrat Ted Strickland? He won't say. "I will do that if I win this election," he insisted (and still managed to be the darling of the crowd). Nevertheless, Strickland is confident that his "secret plan" would satisfy the Supreme Court's concerns.
A 65 Percent Solution doesn't begin to fulfill the needs of Ohio's children (see here and here), but a secret not worth telling is just plain sad. Voters deserve better.
"Strickland Mum on Details of His School-Funding Plan," by Jim Siegal, The Columbus Dispatch, August 18, 2006.
"Blackwell Gets Cold Reception, Strickland Applauded," by Patrick Cain, The Akron Beacon Journal, August 18, 2006.