OFT President Melissa Cropper Responds to Governor DeWine's Proposed Budget

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Ohio Federation of Teachers President Melissa Cropper released the following statement on Governor DeWine’s proposed budget:

“Funding for K-12 public education in Ohio has not only failed to keep up with our students' needs, it has moved in the wrong direction. In 2018, funding for Ohio’s school districts was $610 million lower than it was in 2010, a decrease of 6.7%. And while funding for traditional public schools declined, more and more taxpayer money has been shifted to charter schools ($935.5 million in 2018) and to private schools through vouchers ($568 million in 2018). To make matters worse, funding for the Department of Higher Education has decreased by $505 million (16.8%) since 2006, and Ohio currently ranks 45th in the nation for college affordability.

While there are encouraging aspects of Governor DeWine's budget, especially potential investments in early childhood education and children services programs, we are concerned at the lack of additional revenue to fund these improvements. We need better resources for Ohio students and schools, but not at the expense of other important services for Ohio's families and communities.

Ohio has lost $6 billion in revenue per year since the 2005 tax changes. Funding our future requires raising revenue to make serious investments in families, children, and communities. Minor investments will not move the needle.

We're counting on the legislature to put additional revenue behind Governor DeWine’s priorities so that we can have bold investments that will fund our future by providing all Ohio children with the resources they need.”

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The Ohio Federation of Teachers (OFT) is comprised of more than 50 local unions representing 20,000 members who are active and retired public school teachers, charter school teachers, school support staff, higher education faculty and staff, and public employees. OFT works to advance quality education and services that impact children, and a voice in the workplace for Ohio’s education professionals. OFT is affiliated with the 1.7 member American Federation of Teachers.