Bill Phillis (Karen Kasler | Statehouse News Bureau)

Man Who Sued State Over School Funding Optimistic About New Formula

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The man who filed the 1991 lawsuit that led to Ohio’s school funding system being ruled unconstitutional four times says a new funding formula from two state lawmakers is on the right track. But his optimism comes with a caveat.

Bill Phillis said he thinks the formula from Reps. Bob Cupp (R-Lima) and John Patterson (D-Ashtabula) would satisfy the concerns raised in the DeRolph ruling – which said Ohio was too reliant on property taxes to fund public schools.

But Phillis said that will be true under one condition: “The state will have to ante up more money. I don’t think there’s any question about that. Historically, that’s been the problem.”

Their formula includes funding based on student-teacher ratios, more money for students in poverty and a 60-40 standard for the district’s share of funding based on property value and income.

Cupp and Patterson said they want to discuss the concept before releasing financial details on Friday.