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Financially-Capped School Districts in Ohio Threaten Lawsuit Over School Funding Formula

a photo of a school hallway
KAREN KASLER
/
STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU
Groups of school districts claim they are owed money from the state based on the school funding formula.

A group of school districts that aren’t getting the money they say they should, according to the state’s school funding formula, have threatened a federal lawsuit if the issue isn’t resolved.

The number of districts that are said to be on the cap, meaning the formula calculates they should get more money than they do because the state has capped their total dollars, is 166.

Delaware City Schools Superintendent Paul Craft told senators on the Finance Committee that students in districts that are fully funded and those guaranteed to get what they got last year are getting more money than those in districts on the cap.

“These three students in three similarly situated districts are obviously not receiving that equal protection of the law. And that would be the basis of our lawsuit. I don’t want to do that,” he said.

Craft said lawmakers can avoid a lawsuit by getting rid of caps in the formula or by what he calls meaningful changes.

Karen is a lifelong Ohioan who has served as news director at WCBE-FM, assignment editor/overnight anchor at WBNS-TV, and afternoon drive anchor/assignment editor in WTAM-AM in Cleveland. In addition to her daily reporting for Ohio’s public radio stations, she’s reported for NPR, the BBC, ABC Radio News and other news outlets. She hosts and produces the Statehouse News Bureau’s weekly TV show “The State of Ohio”, which airs on PBS stations statewide. She’s also a frequent guest on WOSU TV’s “Columbus on the Record”, a regular panelist on “The Sound of Ideas” on ideastream in Cleveland, appeared on the inaugural edition of “Face the State” on WBNS-TV and occasionally reports for “PBS Newshour”. She’s often called to moderate debates, including the Columbus Metropolitan Club’s Issue 3/legal marijuana debate and its pre-primary mayoral debate, and the City Club of Cleveland’s US Senate debate in 2012.