The people of Ohio via the Constitution have imposed upon state officials three specific responsibilities regarding public education:
To secure by taxation a thorough and efficient system of common schools throughout Ohio (Article VI, §2)
Provide for, by statute, the organization, administration and control of the public school system supported by public funds (Article VI, §3)
Prescribe by law the powers and duties of the state board of education and superintendent of public instruction (Article VI, §4)
Hence the state owns the obligation to ensure a thorough and efficient system and has no moral or legal duty to provide for any other education schemes.
Shamefully, the state has enacted schemes that erode funding and moral support from the common school.
Since the common school system does not meet the constitutional standard of thorough and efficient, the state cannot justify redirecting $1.2 billion or more annually from the common school system to charters and vouchers.
The common school system differs from the tax-supported charters and voucher schools in a variety of ways:
Common schools Charters/Vouchers
Required by the Constitution yes no
Have a geographic base yes no
Have local tax base yes no
Publicly-governed yes no
Open to all yes no
Regulated fully yes minimal
State funding constitutionally-required yes no
Assets publicly-owned yes no
Obligated to stay open yes no
Charter lobbyists are campaigning for charters to be funded on par with real public schools. They say charters deserve as much funding as real public schools. Fact is that charters don’t fit the mold of the common schools; thus, the state has no obligation to provide any tax money to them.