As a homeowner whose property taxes recently went up to support the Columbus City School District's November 2008 levy and bond issue, I was pleased to see this editorial in today's Columbus Dispatch asserting that, "As Ohio families continue to choose public charter schools, officials at traditional public schools need to become nimble in adjusting their budgets to match shrinking enrollments."
Every day, families and businesses adjust spending to reflect changing circumstances. So do charter schools, which often make multiple, mid-year corrections to staffing levels and school spending plans. Yet traditional districts in the Buckeye State have responded far too slowly to factors like changing enrollment.???? Perhaps, as the Dispatch points out, that's because despite a decline in the number of students they serve, many districts have actually seen an increase in funding over the past decade:
Nevertheless, large enrollment reductions, repeated through the years, should trigger staff reductions and consolidation of students into fewer buildings. The district's closure of more than 15 buildings since 2002 has not kept pace with the enrollment drop in that period of more than 12,000 students.
Moreover, a 2006 analysis showed that because of increases in state funding, Columbus...