We published a few articles about House Bill 136 (commonly referred to as the School Voucher Bill) over the past few months, but nothing since the end of September when the bill was passed by the House Education Committee.  At that time, we published data that detailed the effects of the implementation of HB 136 on every school district in Ohio.  That list was eye-opening to many people across the state because of the negative effects it highlighted. That list, it seems, was also wrong.

House Bill 136 is more damaging than we initially calculated.

In our previous analysis, we calculated the financial impact of a voucher to be a deduction of the amount of tuition that the student would receive based on their family income.  Thus, if a student was only receiving a voucher amount of $3,470 (estimated for Olentangy Local Schools) then we calculated that the school district would have only $3,470 deducted from its funding and rerouted to the private school.

In hindsight we never should have been thinking so logically about a Republican-backed bill.

Shortly after that post, we obtained the updated legislation and analysis by the Legislative Service Commission. (We consciously spent our time on Issue 2 since the bill doesn’t yet have the votes to get introduced on the House floor).  The LSC analysis explains how the penalty to the public school district is greater than we had estimated while being less beneficial to the voucher-funded students.

The base amount for a PACT scholarship for the 2012-2013 school year is $5,703.90.  Students receive only a percentage of the base amount, depending on the family’s federal adjusted gross income for the preceding tax year, as follows:

PACT students must be counted in the enrollments of their resident school districts for purposes of school funding, and then those students’ scholarships must be deducted from their school districts’ state payments.  However, unlike Ed Choice, the full base amount for each PACT student is deducted from the student’s resident district, rather than just the student’s scholarship amount.  The bill states that the extra amount, after paying the student’s scholarship and education savings deposit, if any, is retained by the state.

To clarify, that means that the amount of tuition a student will receive through the HB 136 PACT voucher program is between $2,282 and $4,563.  The student’s home school district, however, will ALWAYS be hit with a $5703.90 deduction in funding for each student awarded a voucher.  The remaining amount, a minimum of $1,140.90, will then be “retained by the state” instead of being returned to the district.

This is merely one more backhanded attempt by the legislature is using to try and de-fund public schools in Ohio.

A quick bit of information:  The number of PACT “scholarships” is limited to the number of unused EdChoice Scholarships in Ohio.  For 2011-2012, approximately 13,000 scholarships went unused.  Conveniently, Kasich’s budget increased the number of EdChoice scholarships to 60,000 next year, allowing about 43,000 PACT “scholarships” to be available.

Armed with that knowledge, consider the following scenario:

43,000 PACT scholarships are available for 2012-2013.  If 43,000 students apply for these scholarships, and if they all qualify for the maximum amount of tuition, that will result in the state writing checks to those families equal $196,209,000.00 in total.  Certainly a large sum, but far short of the $245,267,700.00 that will be deducted from school districts’ accounts.

If school districts are losing $245 million, but students/private schools are only receiving $196 million, where is the missing $50 million?

“Retained by the state.”

And know that this isn’t a one-time deal, this is a process that will be repeated annually.  Each year, public school districts all over Ohio will suffer another $50 million loss in state funding.

Aren’t you also left wondering why the $764 million in budget cuts over the next two years wasn’t enough for them?

 

 

Below, we have updated the spreadsheet to reflect this significant change, adding a column to show the net loss to an individual school district for each voucher issued. Overall 533 of the 612 school districts will suffer a net loss in state funding as a result of this bill.  The districts will have to make up that loss in some way, essentially meaning that our LOCAL tax dollars will be replacing money taken to fund private schools.  You know that levy you just passed?  That Catholic school on the corner thanks you.

Origin of Numerical Data:

The original spreadsheet retains its format as I downloaded it from the Ohio Department of Education and is the FY2012 BRIDGE FUNDING REPORT. I obtained the publicly available spreadsheet from the ODE website.

The median federal AGI amounts (as dictated in HB136) are from the Ohio Department of Taxation for the tax year 2009, the most recent numbers available, and the spreadsheet of the “Income Tax – By School District” figures are publicly available on their website.

The adjusted student enrollment counts were calculated by using the open enrollment and community school figures for each district for September 2, 2011, available by researching each district individually through the ODE website.

 

You can download the full Excel file here: HB136 Analysis of Effect on Public School Funding

A reference guide for understanding the columns in the spreadsheet is available in pdf format: Guide to Using the HB136 Data file

In the version below, we have consolidated the columns displayed so that the information is at least somewhat visible.  The downloadable file at the above link includes the complete data set. (Click the plus sign at the bottom of the window to zoom in.)

 

 

 

Evangelize!
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  • Anonymous

    Here we have RobsOhio 2.0.

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    Good post really nice!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Carrie-Preston/100000765994211 Carrie Preston

    I think it is time that we need to do another law suit against the state for improper funding of the Ohio public school system and let the public know just what is happening to the $ and that it is not the teachers taking the money away from public education like Kasich wants them to believe. We need to stop kvetching and start doing something about getting this information out to the public stating what exactly is going on.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Carrie-Preston/100000765994211 Carrie Preston

    I think it is time that we need to do another law suit against the state for improper funding of the Ohio public school system and let the public know just what is happening to the $ and that it is not the teachers taking the money away from public education like Kasich wants them to believe. We need to stop kvetching and start doing something about getting this information out to the public stating what exactly is going on.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Carrie-Preston/100000765994211 Carrie Preston

    I think it is time that we need to do another law suit against the state for improper funding of the Ohio public school system and let the public know just what is happening to the $ and that it is not the teachers taking the money away from public education like Kasich wants them to believe. We need to stop kvetching and start doing something about getting this information out to the public stating what exactly is going on.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Carrie-Preston/100000765994211 Carrie Preston

    Of course it is. We are going to have to fight this ass hole constantly until the general public sees him for what he is and sees what he is doing and where it will lead things. Some people just don’t get it yet. If we keep on fighting him. It may just put this party in the poor light they should be standing in.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Carrie-Preston/100000765994211 Carrie Preston

    Of course it is. We are going to have to fight this ass hole constantly until the general public sees him for what he is and sees what he is doing and where it will lead things. Some people just don’t get it yet. If we keep on fighting him. It may just put this party in the poor light they should be standing in.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Carrie-Preston/100000765994211 Carrie Preston

    Of course it is. We are going to have to fight this ass hole constantly until the general public sees him for what he is and sees what he is doing and where it will lead things. Some people just don’t get it yet. If we keep on fighting him. It may just put this party in the poor light they should be standing in.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Carrie-Preston/100000765994211 Carrie Preston

    We need to call this bill the RAPING of the PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEMS and OUR CHILDREN’S FUTURES!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Carrie-Preston/100000765994211 Carrie Preston

    We need to call this bill the RAPING of the PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEMS and OUR CHILDREN’S FUTURES!

  • Anonymous

    I don’t understand how using public funds to pay for private schools is even constitutional.  Can anyone else explain how?

  • WestParkGuy

    Sorry for asking these questions.

    What is the difference between EdChoice and a PACT Scholarship? What doe PACT stand for?

    Thxs

  • WestParkGuy

    Sorry for asking these questions.

    What is the difference between EdChoice and a PACT Scholarship? What doe PACT stand for?

    Thxs

  • Anonymous

    I’m just speechless. How THIS can be constitutional when our current system is not, i don’t see. Although our local levy passed, I voted against it and would a hundred more times until this is fixed. I get that “Don’t punish the local schools for what the state is doing” argument, but we need to wake people up.

  • Anonymous

    EdChoice is the current school voucher program in place in Ohio.  It is limited to students in the lowest performing schools.  The number of EdChoice vouchers was expanded in the state budget, despite any evidence that there was the necessary demand.  One might surmise that the increase is connected to this legislation.  The official EdChoice law is available at: http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/3310.02

    PACT stands for Parental Choice and Taxpayer Savings Scholarship Program, the official name of the HB 136 voucher program.

    Good clarifying questions.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=714830440 Bonnie B

    Okay, I may be naive and a bit off-topic; but, has anyone looked at graduation statistics? Privatization is NOT conducive to producing high school graduates. IMHO, it would put a greater burden on poor working-class parents, even if they did get scholarships for their children (to private schools). What about transportation costs? What about individualized education programs? Seems to me that those students who cannot realistically attend private schools would suffer, as funding is drained away from public school districts. Also, most private schools are “Christian” establishments and I have a real problem with students being subjected to the religious indoctrination these schools incorporate into their curriculum, operations. I also have a real problem with public funds going to private industries.  
    (I shall research graduation statistics… not that these people, with their aggressive, oppressive privatization agenda would ever pay attention to such factual information.) }:-(

  • http://motivatedinohio.com MotivatedinOhio

    ‘The cornerstone of democracy rests on the foundation of an educated electorate': – Jefferson  

    In order to enact their radical agenda, they have to make sure that we have an uneducated electorate.  

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  • Anonymous

     

    I’m trying to share this
    information with friends and family, but when they see all the details, their
    eyes glaze over. I’m not sure I even understand it well enough myself to
    explain the major BAD points of the bill.  The chart was mind-numbing.  Can you post something that more concisely
    describes the details of the bill? 
    Here’s how I understand this (please tell me what I’ve got wrong or what
    I’m missing):

    1. Families earning up to
    $95,000 per year qualify for vouchers, regardless of the quality of their local
    public school. The amount of the voucher ranges from $2282 to $4563, depending
    on the family’s income.  Many higher
    income families live in well-funded, high performing districts.  Do the rest of us really want to subsidize
    this choice for people who could afford to pay their own tuition if they want
    to send their children to a private school? 
    Is this fair?

    2. If the family sends
    their child to a private school whose tuition is less than the amount they
    receive for their voucher, they can keep the difference.  Even if the family uses the extra money to
    purchase school supplies or pay additional school fees, students in public
    schools get no such help.  Is this fair?

    3. For every student who
    leaves the public school for a private school on a voucher, the local public
    school loses $5703.90, regardless of how much the district receives in state
    funding.  If a district receives, for
    example, $1140 per student in state funding, they are “spending” 5 times that
    amount for every student who leaves with a voucher.  This extra money is essentially coming out of
    locally raised school funding.  Is this
    fair?

    4. The difference between
    the $5703.90 of state funding the public school loses and the amount of the
    student’s voucher is given is retained by the state.  How will the state use the money it gets back?  Is this fair? 

    Am I missing
    something?  Are my numbers (real and
    hypothetical) correct?  Please give me
    something I can share with my friends that doesn’t confuse both them and me.

    Thanks.

    P.S.  I can’t find a “Contact Us” button anywhere on your page.  I would have preferred to send this as an email, but I can’t figure out how.

     
     
     
     

  • Anonymous

    Everything you’ve said seems correct.  It’s not something that easily boils down to talking points because it seems (and is) so unbelievable.

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