I was at a meeting held by Americans for Prosperity and the audience was asked if Ohio’s general population has an obligation to pay for public education? Well the State of Ohio’s Constitution says we do. Here is what I have learned about our State’s constitution:
State of Ohio Constitution:
The principal of all funds, arising from the sale, or other disposition of lands, or other property, granted or entrusted to this State for educational and religious purposes, shall be used or disposed of in such manner as the General Assembly shall prescribe by law.
(Amended, effective July 1, 1968.)
The General Assembly shall make such provisions, by taxation, or otherwise, as, with the income arising from the school trust fund, will secure a thorough and efficient system of common schools throughout the state; but no religious or other sect, or sects, shall ever have any exclusive right to, or control of, any part of the school funds of this state.
(Lobbyists for Citizens’ comment: the 1997 Ohio Supreme Court’s decision in the DeRolph case changed “thorough and efficient” to “adequate and equitable”, although that wording is not written in law. There has been an extensive “redistribution of the wealth” created with a sophisticated program established to ensure “fairness” in distribution of State funds to Ohio’s public schools.)
Provision shall be made by law for the organization, administration and control of the public school system of the state supported by public funds: provided, that each school district embraced wholly or in part within any city shall have the power by referendum vote to determine for itself the number of members and the organization of the district board of education, and provision shall be made by law for the exercise of this power by such school districts.
(Adopted September 3, 1912.)
There shall be a state board of education which shall be selected in such manner and for such terms as shall be provided by law. There shall be a superintendent of public instruction, who shall be appointed by the state board of education. The respective powers and duties of the board and of the superintendent shall be prescribed by law.
(Amended November 3, 1953)
(LFC’s Comment: Here is the current Superintendent of Public Instruction – name is Paolo DeMaria)
Here is a link to an article detailing the compensation paid to Mr. DeMaria:
To increase opportunities to the residents of this state for higher education, it is hereby determined to be in the public interest and a proper public purpose for the state to guarantee the repayment of loans made to residents of this state to assist them in meeting the expenses of attending an institution of higher education. Laws may be passed to carry into effect such purpose including the payment, when required, of any such guarantee from moneys available for such payment after first providing the moneys necessary to meet the requirements of any bonds or other obligations heretofore or hereafter authorized by any section of the Constitution. Such laws and guarantees shall not be subject to the limitations or requirements of Article VIII or of Section 11 of Article XII of the Constitution. Amended Substitute House Bill No.618 enacted by the General Assembly on July 11, 1961, and Amended Senate Bill No.284 enacted by the General Assembly on May 23, 1963, and all appropriations of moneys made for the purpose of such enactments, are hereby validated, ratified, confirmed, and approved in all respects, and they shall be in full force and effect from and after the effective date of this section, as laws of this state until amended or repealed by law.
(Adopted May 4, 1965.)
(A) To increase opportunities to the residents of this state for higher education, it is hereby determined to be in the public interest and a proper public purpose for the state to maintain a program for the sale of tuition credits such that the proceeds of such credits purchased for the benefit of a person then a resident of this state shall be guaranteed to cover a specified amount when applied to the cost of tuition at any state institution of higher education, and the same or a different amount when applied to the cost of tuition at any other institution of higher education, as may be provided by law.
(B) The tuition credits program and the Ohio tuition trust fund previously created by law, which terms include any successor to that program or fund, shall be continued subject to the same laws, except as may hereafter be amended. To secure the guarantees required by division (A) of this section, the general assembly shall appropriate money sufficient to offset any deficiency that occurs in the Ohio tuition trust fund, at any time necessary to make payment of the full amount of any tuition payment or refund that would have been required by a tuition payment contract, except for the contract’s limit of payment to money available in the trust fund. Notwithstanding Section 29 of Article II of this Constitution, or the limitation of a tuition payment contract executed before the effective date of this section, such appropriations may be made by a majority of the members elected to each house of the general assembly, and the full amount of any such enhanced tuition payment or refund may be disbursed to and accepted by the beneficiary or purchaser. To these ends there is hereby pledged the full faith and credit and taxing power of the state.
All assets that are maintained in the Ohio tuition trust fund shall be used solely for the purposes of that fund. However, if the program is terminated or the fund is liquidated, the remaining assets after the obligations of the fund have been satisfied in accordance with law shall be transferred to the general revenue fund of the state.
Laws shall be passed, which may precede and be made contingent upon the adoption of this amendment by the electors, to provide that future conduct of the tuition credits program shall be consistent with this amendment. Nothing in this amendment shall be construed to prohibit or restrict any amendments to the laws governing the tuition credits program or the Ohio tuition trust fund that are not inconsistent with this amendment.
(Adopted November 8, 1994)
(Lobbyists for Citizens’ comment: If the Ohio constitution says that we must pay for public education, I contend that it is therefore imperative that Ohio’s citizens understand what they are paying for and ensure that those in power in the education system reflect the will of the majority of the general population. We, as Lobbyists for Citizens, will continue to inspect, review, and challenge the financial and policy decisions of Ohio’s Education power structure.
We will try to ensure that the Education power brokers never price seniors and those on fixed incomes out of their homes that they have worked all their lives to achieve.)