Huffman’s Raid on Shawnee Schools 11/21/11

Matt Huffman’s voucher bill is a bad bill for public schools in general. To see just how bad a bill it is consider the case of Shawnee Schools. Under the bill students who are already attending private schools are still entitled to vouchers as long as they meet the income guidelines. This means that a student who never attended public schools and never intended to is still able to get a voucher. How bad a deal is this for Shawnee Schools? Because Shawnee Schools has a robust tax base, it doesn’t receive the full state subsidy for its students. In fact it receives just $960. But for this private school student who lives in the district whom the School has never seen but who now receives a voucher, the State takes away the full $5,704! So Shawnee gets $960 and then has $5,704 taken away, which means they just lost $4,744 in state support. Even more interesting is what happens to the $5,704 that has been deducted from the Shawnee Schools. Since the maximum voucher is $4563, there is $1,141 “left over.” What happens to that? Does that go back to the school to support its educational mission? Don’t be silly. That money goes back to the state to be spent as the governor and the legislature desire. But again if this child’s parents live in Shawnee, the chances are they won’t qualify for the maximum voucher. Indeed there is a good chance that they will only qualify for the minimum voucher of $2,282 in which case the state will get a kickback of $3,422. Multiply these numbers for one child by the 43,000 vouchers the bill allows for and you can see why superintendents are upset. After cutting funds for public schools, Huffman and the legislature are siphoning off still more funds. It doesn’t matter how good the school is. The funds from the local public schools are being siphoned into private schools and into whatever the governor and the legislature wants to use their kickback for. Plunderbund has written some very good articles on this issue and I would like to acknowledge my debt to them. I urge you to read www.pluderbund.com If you have topics you would like me to write about you can contact me at bode.1@osu.edu