Ohio Gov. John Kasich's long-awaited school funding formula appears overall to be a promising fix for a long-broken funding system that the Ohio Supreme Court first ruled unconstitutional in 1997.
It's also a welcome change from the cutbacks that have dogged public schools in the last two years as the state shaved school funding to balance its budget, forcing recession-weary voters to make up the difference -- if they could.
Public schools need to do far more to change how they operate -- and Kasich offers modest incentives for them to do so with a $300 million innovation fund. This page long has advocated rewarding risk-taking districts such as Cleveland's with added state money.
But Kasich's ambitious $15.1 billion proposal, aimed at shoring up spending on poorer students while not taking money away from wealthier districts, could use some editing.
In particular, the plan's generous provisions to improve funding for charter schools and offer more tuition vouchers for private schools could hollow out urban public education in Ohio -- while failing to address Ohio's dismal oversight of charter schools ... .
The rest of us should kick the tires as well. Ohio's future is bound to its educational system, so that system has to be as strong as possible ... .
Kasich should make sure that his fervent support for charter schools and tuition vouchers doesn't get in the way of making Ohio's public schools as strong as they can be.
The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer