Just a few examples:
Eighty-four percent said they reduced or froze compensation;
Eighty-two percent said they reduced staff;
Fifty-seven percent cut materials, supplies, textbooks or equipment;
Forty-three percent reported larger class sizes;
Twenty-three percent had reduced course offerings;
Twenty-two percent introduced pay-to-play for extracurricular activities, or reduced extracurricular offerings.So for those who think districts should make cuts before asking for additional local revenue, they clearly are doing both, actually. My district passed a new money levy a couple years ago, which meant they only let go of two dozen rather than 80 teachers.
It is, frankly, sad that Policy Matters and Innovation Ohio have to do research proving the obvious -- that state budget cuts mean greater cuts and higher taxes at the local level. Last week, IO released my latest look at the statewide total ask for new operating money at the local level -- an amount that's up to $1.3 billion since May 2011.
Yet there remain folks in Columbus who think their actions don't result in real-world consequences. It is clear that they do. Let's hope this latest information allows them to snap back to reality here.
For, as Policy Matters noted in its work, if Ohio had simply kept pace with inflation since the DeRolph case was dropped by the Ohio Supreme Court in 2002, Ohio's kids would have $1.2 billion more in state money than they would in the last year of this budget as currently constituted. That's fewer cuts, lower property taxes and better-educated kids.
How, exactly, can one be against all that? Perhaps it's time some in Columbus were asked that question.