By Gary Knepp, Vice President, Milford Board of Education; Historian; Attorney-at-Law
Ohio’s school funding has been debated for years. Ohio’s Supreme Court has twice declared the formula unconstitutional. Deciphering the current formula requires the work of a cryptologist.
In 1937, the formula was much easier to understand. It was based entirely on the average daily attendance at the respective school district. In March, the first quarter distribution was announced. Miamiville, now incorporated into Milford, received $85.02 while Bethel was awarded $7,647, the largest distribution in the county. Milford’s share for the first quarter was $4,957.88, which is about $800 less than the district currently receives for one student on an annual basis.
But there was one major catch. The districts received notes, not cash. The depression left the Ohio school foundation “100 percent in default in its payment to schools.” As a result, each local board had to actually pay interest on the notes.
When debating the current school funding formula, it may be helpful to keep in mind that there is at least “real money” on the way.