Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder
Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder [Statehouse News Bureau]

Top Lawmaker Suggests “Redistribution” of Wealth to Fund the State’s Schools

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The head of the Ohio House wants the state to come up with a new way of funding schools. And he throws out a suggestion that could involve what’s often been called a “Robin Hood” approach.

Speaker Larry Householder says some wealthier school districts have high family incomes and business properties that contribute a lot of revenue while others districts cannot.

“So they are putting every effort they’ve got into trying to educate their kids and give them a better life and other school districts, I don’t begrudge them, but they don’t have that same effort. So we’ve got to find a way to balance that out so maybe everybody in the state is putting together the same amount of effort and those dollars are flowing across school districts all over the state of Ohio,” Householder says.

Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder says lawmakers need to change how schools are funding. He suggests redistributing local tax dollars to the state as part of the solution. As it stands now, he says some wealthier districts benefit from the formula.

Householder suggests pooling all of those funds so school districts the state considers wealthier, like Olentangy Local Schools in Delaware County, generate dollars easier than Trimble in Athens County.

“If we had a fund where the money would flow into, and everyone had the same amount of local effort, those dollars would be, I would say, an adequate level of funding clear across the state of Ohio and of course, you’ve got those situations like an Olentangy where it’s possible they could do even more.”

Householder says he’s not talking about raising taxes but rather an adjustment. He admits this idea takes away some local control.

“Well there’s always an argument about local control and I’m a big supporter of local control but let’s face it, local control has been gone for a long, long time in many of these situations but you can still have local control and make sure there’s a state fund out there that is taking care of school districts in an adequate level,” Householder says.

Householder says this is just one of the ideas lawmakers are talking about right now. He says it’s possible they might have to come up with something to put on the ballot.