Our State School Board Representative, Sarah Fowler, sent us Paolo Demaria’s, the Ohio Superintendent’s, testimony to the House Finance Committee.
Here are some interesting statistics from his testimony:
“The Department oversees an education system consisting of 610 public school districts, 49 joint vocational school districts, 52 educational service centers (ESCs) and 319 community schools. Ohio also enjoys a strong private (chartered nonpublic) school sector. There are more than 4,300 school buildings in the state, of which 41 are designated as STEM schools. Ohio’s public schools enroll approximately 1.7 million students served by more than 108,000 licensed teachers and 314,000 credentialed education personnel, including teachers, principals, administrators, aides, counselors, coaches and other staff.
(LFC Comment: Let’s do a little math, shall we? What is the student to (teacher + administrators) ratio? [1,700,000 students / (108,000 + 314,000) = 4.12]…..makes us wonder if we would be better off going back to the one-room school house – they had to have better than 4.12 ratio)
It takes more than $23 billion in federal, state and local funding annually to operate Ohio’s K-12 system. Gov. DeWine’s proposed budget recommends GRF funding of $8.4 billion in FY 2020 (an increase of $313.8 million or 3.9 percent) and $8.4 billion in FY21 (an increase of $9.8 million or 0.1 percent) for primary and secondary education. Recommended support for primary and secondary education across all budget funds totals $11.7 billion in FY20 (an increase of $366 million or 3.2 percent) and $11.8 billion in FY21 (an increase of $83.1 million or 0.7 percent). These totals do not include Property Tax Reimbursements or Tangible Personal Property Reimbursements, which reflect an additional $1.3 billion each year.” (LFC Comment: Is there any doubt that public school education is big business?)
What is astounding to us is his statistics on poverty in Ohio:
“Today, 48 percent of Ohio’s children ages birth to 5 years old are living at or below 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Level.”
“Too often, children with disabilities and children who live in poverty arrive for kindergarten under prepared in language, literacy and math skills. Today, 48 percent of Ohio’s children ages birth to 5 years old are living at or below 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Level. The research is clear: investments in quality early learning yield high returns.
(LFC Comments: You may ask what are the Federal Poverty Guidelines? Well, an on-line search provided us with this information. Look at column 7 for the 2019 guidelines.)
Federal Poverty Guidelines
PERSONS IN FAMILY OR HOUSEHOLD
POVERTY THRESHOLDS FOR 2017 — PUBLISHED SEP. 2018A
COLUMN 2 MULTIPLIED BY 1.024426 INFLATION FACTORB
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SUCCESSIVE COLUMN 3 ENTRIES
AVERAGE DIFFERENCE IN COLUMN 4C
JANUARY 2018 POVERTY GUIDELINES
JANUARY 2019 POVERTY GUIDELINES
Here is another excerpt from his testimony:
“College Credit Plus
A decade ago, Ohio high school students had limited, inconsistent and fragmented opportunities to earn college credit while in high school. Today, Ohio’s College Credit Plus Program helps students in grades 7-12 earn college and high school credits at the same time by taking college courses from community colleges or universities at no cost to the students or their families. Participating students take courses that count toward a degree pathway to maximize the value of their learning. In three years, College Credit Plus students have earned nearly 2,400 associate degrees and almost 1,200 certificates, while realizing more than $410 million in tuition savings.
But, we can do more. One way to do that is to make more dual enrollment courses available in high school classrooms. This budget dedicates $3 million for high school teachers to take graduate-level coursework to
qualify to teach college-level classes. This will expand access to the program by offering more opportunities for high school students who may not be able to easily access courses on college campuses.”
(LFC Comments: We have written about the CCP program before. It is a huge factor for Lakeland Community College, since it helps supplement the 30% loss of full-time students that they have experienced. So if we are spending money to qualify teachers to provide instruction for “dual enrollment courses” at the high school facilities, it seems that the Lakeland Community College may suffer because they will not have students enrolling in their classes at their facility or their professors will not be needed at the high schools. We can see the Lobbyists for the schools (paid by the taxpayers), fighting it out with the Lobbyists for the Colleges (presumable paid by the taxpayers) to ensure that their turf does not suffer. Everyone gets their gold, and the senior taxpayers get the shaft!)