Monday, June 20, 2011

Cuyahoga County Delegation Calls for Reducing Cuts in Public School Funding

COLUMBUS—State Representatives Mike Dovilla (R-Berea), Nan Baker (R-Westlake), and Marlene Anielski (R-Walton Hills) called on the State Budget Conference Committee to represent the interests of Ohio’s suburban taxpayers who are disproportionately affected by proposed reductions in school funding.

School districts in Cuyahoga County such as Berea, Rocky River, Westlake, North Royalton, Solon and Brecksville-Broadview Heights are facing reductions in their budget due to the accelerated phase-out of the Tangible Personal Property Tax.

"I applaud the Ohio Senate for increasing funding for suburban school districts like those in the 18th District," said Dovilla. "These changes represent good progress. However, they do not address my concern with the wholesale evisceration of the Tangible Personal Property Tax. Our excellent schools, which have been budgeting and working to absorb costs associated with the gradual phase-out of this revenue stream, cannot absorb these cuts without laying off teachers and staff. I remain committed to providing the resources necessary to allow our students to continue to excel in their academic achievement."

"I am grateful for the consideration to support my amendment to reduce the state aid cap to a maximum of 20% from 79% and later through the process by which the Senate restored all state aid funding,” said Baker. “Districts like mine, however, also need to have consideration for the Tangible Personal Property Tax reimbursement to preserve the quality education our districts provide. The loss of these funds will be devastating to my school district."

“Redistributing tax dollars from middle-class suburban school districts is not how we ensure our children receive the best education to succeed in this economy,” said Anielski. “I appreciate the work and due diligence performed by the Senate Finance Committee in regards to increasing funding for our schools. However, much work needs to be done to ensure that our schools are provided with adequate funds to maintain their progress toward educating our youth and developing national champions in the fields of science and math like many of the schools in the 17th District.”

House Bill 153 is currently before the joint House-Senate Conference Committee.