A public meeting will be held tonight to talk about a problem that seems like it only gets worse.
The Ohio Legislature was ordered by the Ohio Supreme Court four times, starting in 1997, to find a better way to address school funding after declaring that the method relying mainly on property taxes was unconstitutional. The Ohio House Special Finance Subcommittee on Primary and Secondary Education Funding has been traveling around the state asking for input on how to better fund the schools. The series of satellite meetings wraps up tonight in Akron.
State Representative Vernon Sykes is a member of the subcommittee and says much of the input so far mirrors that of the Supreme Court directive more than a decade ago.
"We've got to get rid of the heavy reliance on the local property taxes," said Sykes. "That's one thing that's been repeated throughout the state. People are tired of the heavy reliance and having to rely on that."
How many meetings does it take to determine what's already been determined?
Sykes says it's more complicated than that, citing the slowing of revenue into the state budget that can then be allocated to the school districts and forcing them to depend on their only means of replenishing their own budgets: local taxes.
"We have reduced some of the reliance, but not nearly enough," said Sykes.
Sykes says he hopes that the committee will come up with a way to change the funding system.
Sykes stressed the importance of early childhood programs, stressing that education needs to begin as early as possible.
The meeting today will be held from 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. at the Ocasek Building in downtown Akron.