Ready for the fall-out of Kasich's crazy plan to help poor schools by not giving them money and instead increasing the budgets for rich districts? If you're not up to speed, check out this diary by our own anatasia p. The short story is, Kasich told everyone he'd help fund poorer schools and curtail funding increases for richer districts. Unfortunately when he revealed the details of his plan, the opposite is what's happening. Poor schools are upset.
Franklin schools superintendent Arnol Elam took the issue to the residents of the school district he serves in Warren County, Ohio, through a letter sent to parents of Franklin students. WHIO-TV, a partner with the Dayton Daily News, reports:
Prosecutor David Fornshell announced the investigation two days after Franklin Superintendent Arnol Elam sent a letter home to parents of the district’s 2,924 students urging them to join him “in an active campaign to ensure Gov. (John) Kasich and any legislator who supports him are not re-elected.” The letter also was posted on the school’s website, but an edited version appeared late Thursday afternoon with that statement deleted.More after the jump.
Elam wrote the letter in response Kasich’s recently released school funding formula, which did not include any additional funding for Franklin schools — Warren County’s poorest district — in 2014 or 2015. Elam said flat funding for Franklin was the exact opposite of what Kasich promised when he said poor districts would get more funding and wealthier districts less funding under his plan.
Warren County prosecutor David Fornshell launched an investigation to see if Superintendent Elam is abusing his position and school resources by engaging in political activity. The whole thing reeks of a political witch hunt. Was Elam's statement political? By its nature in referencing Governor Kasich (R-Asshole) I suppose it is. Is the superintendent illegally using school resources to support a political agenda? I'm not so sure. But it's easy to understand his frustration with the mathematically challenged governor, who says he is doling out money to students who are receiving less than others. The thing is, Dear Governor (TM), it doesn't look that way when anyone with decent cognitive skills looks at the numbers.
In the letter, Elam took issue with the fact that Springboro, Mason and Kings — the county’s three wealthiest districts — will receive funding increases in 2014 of 16, 2 and 25 percent, respectively, while Franklin — where 44 percent of students live in poverty — will see no increase. He accuses Kasich of being “untruthful” for saying that poor districts would get more and wealthy districts less."Unbelievable" is a nice way of putting it. I like the word "bullshit" myself.
“The governor’s funding plan has taken from the children that attend the Franklin City Schools and gives to the rich,” Elam wrote. “Frankly, this is both unfair and unbelievable.”
The numbers that DO support what Kasich is doing have to do with "operating revenue per student." The poorer districts that don't get increases have a higher "operating revenue per student" than the richer districts. I use quotes around those words because it's not quite clear how they're generated, or what constitutes an "operating budget" for any of these districts. But when 44% of Franklin's students live in poverty (and if you ask me the federal poverty line is WAY too low for what real poverty is), you can't pretend that those kids walk in the door every day with the same resources at home as the kids at Mason, or (for the central Ohio folks) New Albany or Powell, some of the richest neighborhoods and cities in the entire state.
Then again, are we really surprised that Republicans are taking from the poor to give to the rich? I guess I've just never seen it so blatant as in the last fifteen years or so. Even Darth Cheney tried to hide some of the shady crap he was doing. When asked about this particular investigation, Governor Kasich spokesman and purveyor of pretty words without any real meaning Rob Nichols had this to say:
“Franklin City Schools will be held harmless under our formula, and will thus not lose any funding over the next two years,” Nichols said. “The district will also benefit from new freedoms from reduced bureaucracy and red tape and will have a chance to receive additional funds from the Straight A Fund – a $300 million program that will reward districts which develop innovative strategies to help their students improve their achievement levels and increase their operational efficiency."Reduced bureaucracy and red tape," eh? A common Republican talking point, but can anyone actually point out what crippling bureaucracy was lifted from these schools? Oh wait, it wasn't red tape removed from the districts themselves, but rather red tape cut from Kasich's responsibility to budget with proper math and numbers that make sense. Then again, the governor isn't even pretending that his plan makes any logical sense or is even intended to have a positive impact.
Kasich said he still had not seen any material detailing how much money each of Ohio’s 612 school districts would receive under his plan. “No, I don’t look at those because it’s the philosophy that matters,” Kasich said after a town-hall meeting with business professionals in Dayton to promote his tax proposals.The game, Governor Asshole, you have lost it.
I'll be working to get this loser out of office in 2014. Who's with me?