Several patriots met with State Representative John Patterson (District 99) at the Chardon Library today to discuss the unsustainable funding of public schools in the State of Ohio with property taxes.
Representative Patterson was well aware of the looming problem of the property taxes impacting seniors and those on fixed incomes, so we did not have to do much of a selling job to get him to agree with our position.
He stated that he and Representative Cupp (he of the Cupp Report fame) have recognized the fallacies in the current method of calculating the funding formula for school funding; and they both believe that the State should contribute more, and lessen the burden on the local property taxes. [LFC Comment: All nice words, but we are cautiously optimistic…..We belong to the “verify then trust” club, because we still have wounds that have not healed from the “trust but verify” approach.]
They are currently working on revising the complete formula, and should have it completed in a couple of weeks.
We did pick up this little tidbit – they have arrived at a consensus on the student/teacher ratio that should be attained throughout the State of Ohio:
Kindergarten: 20:1 (20 students for every 1 teacher)
1st – 3rd grades: 23:1
4th – 8th grades: 25:1
High School: 27:1
We will keep those statistics in mind as we analyze the Lake County school districts.
Representative Patterson did state that they want to move away from the onerous testing, since they seem to be relying too much on the system. They do not think it is fair to have in some cases, the test scores representing 50% of a teacher’s evaluation and impacting the teacher’s salary. This system has caused the teachers to “teach to the test” rather than using their teaching skills and motivating the children to learn the subjects.
There is also going to be dollars allocated for a school resource officer, and a mental health specialist on staff to offer guidance for troubled children with possible mental health issues.
We offered to testify in Columbus if Representative Patterson needs the input of citizens before his committee.
We will keep you posted as we progress on this very important issue.
Here is a link to our friends in Auburn Township review of the Patterson meeting.