UPDATED AT 12:19 PM
FORTY-FIVE MILLION DOLLARS FOR OHIO'S PUBLIC SCHOOLS! (LINK to Columbus Dispatch article of July 12th)
WOW!, WOW!! AND WOW!!! A THIRD TIME, NO?
Of the $45.4 million, the SCPR calculates that Stark's 17 schools districts will get a little over $1.2 million
No doubt that the $45.4 million sounds impressive.
And even dropping down to the county level $1.23 million is nothing to sneeze at.
It is when one gets to the school district level that it becomes apparent that the casino profits which are distributed twice a year are pretty much a dud.
It is at the local level that educators (i.e. superintendents and board of education members) cringe.
What sticks in the mind of the local taxpayer?
Of course, $45.4 million.
So why school officials are you asking for "new" monies?
This past May, five Stark County school districts asked for "new" money notwithstanding already receiving casino money AND, mind you, lottery profits.
So why levies for "new" money?
Answer - the casino monies and lottery profits are not what the politicians passing laws in Columbus including Stark County's:
- Scott Oelslager (R-Plain, 29th Ohio Senate District) who is chairman of the Senate Finance Committee,
- Kirk Schuring (R-Jackson, 48th Ohio House District),
- Christina Hagan (R-Marlboro, 50th Ohio House District) and
- Stephen Slesnick (D-Canton, 49th Ohio House District).
Oh, they love to talk about the $45.4 million. Maybe even the $1.23 million you do not see them (this would be Christina Hagan for East Canton) high-five school officials over $18,000.
For East Canton schools with about 900 or so students the $45.4 million gets reduced to about $18,000 per half year or $36,000 for a full year of sharing in casino profits.
To give perspective to what $36,000 a year might mean in terms of meeting the annual school budget in the Osnaburg (East Canton) School district, let's take a look at what the district spends each year educating a student.
Scan down through the cost per student list for 2010/2011:
(Note: 2011/2012 - 2012/2013 figures are not yet available, but does anyone think costs have gone down?)
So with the additional estimated $36,000 per year from casino profits East Canton can educate 3.75 students.
Remember that East Canton has to spread the $36,000 over let's say 900 students.
How far does $36,000 spread out?
How about $40 compared to at least $9,568 to education.
To be fair, let's look at Stark County's largest school district: Canton.
Canton is likely to get about $400,000 a year from casino profits.
Canton has about 10,000 students. Divide 400,000 by 10,000 and what do you get.
$40 a student.
But Canton is worse off than East Canton.
It costs at least $11,308 (nearly $2,000 more) to educate a student Canton than in East Canton so the $40 does not buy as much in Canton as it does in the Osnaburg Local School District.
with the additional estimated $400,000 per year from casino profits East Canton can educate about 35 of nearly 10,000 students.
So are you still wowing about the $45.5 million in casino provides allocated to K-12 Ohio education?
And we haven't even touch on the lottery profits.
Suffice it to say, in the opinion of the SCPR Ohio's schools get absolutely nothing out of the lottery profits (2012 was a record year for profits LINK), because - though denied by state legislators and the Kasich administration) the folks in the Statehouse play a "shell game" with Ohio taxpayers.
As required by the Ohio Constitution, each and every single profit dollar from the Ohio collection of lottery games DO GO TO EDUCATION.
But the dirty little secret of the $62 billion Ohio biennium budget is that general fund money equivalent to the lottery profits are redirected to "other than education" appropriations.
Folks that's how honest the likes of Oelslager, Schuring, Hagan and Slesnick and their colleagues are with you.
And educators "shudder" every time they see a headline about lottery profits going to the schools.
If their disingenuousness were not enough as to the "shell game" they play with us, the legislators (including ours, except for Slesnick [because as a Democrat he voted against the 2014/15 biennium budget bill]) Oelslager, Schuring and Hagan supported:
- taking away the 10% tax rollback on real property taxes,
- taking away the 2.5% tax rollback on real property (owner occupied) taxes,
- taking away the Homestead Exemption for those making $30,000 or more.
In doing so they made it significantly more difficult for the school districts across Ohio to pass new levies.
Only Stark's Lake Local School District is asking for "new" monies in a levy issue on November's ballot.
In view of Lake's state representative (Christina Hagan) having made it harder for the district to pass its levy, the very least she could do is to wish the district good luck.
So in the firm belief that Representative Hagan will approve, the SCPR has put together this graphic for Lake Local School District users to take solace in.