Man Who Sued State Over School Funding Optimistic About New Formula

Mar 26, 2019

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.