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Ohio Schools: Rising to the Challenge for No Tax Increases


Policy Matters Ohio, a non-profit, nonpartisan policy research organization, performed a recent survey of Ohio school districts to find out how they are going to handle a $1.8 billion reduction in funding from the state budget, House Bill 153. The answer: “…they are cutting teachers and programs, boosting class size, and requiring students to pay to participate in extracurricular activities.”

Despite cuts, “more than a quarter of respondents anticipate being in official fiscal distress in the coming year.” According to the survey, the number of districts that face a budget gap rose to nearly two-thirds. However, they don’t want to come back on the local community with a request for higher taxes to handle that gap. Instead, “most respondents said they will manage budget shortfalls through labor cost containment” that includes salary freezes, pay cuts and reductions in force. Reductions will naturally mean larger class sizes as administrators strive to balance the work load.

In addition to increasing class sizes, nearly half of respondents “…said they plan to reduce expenditures on materials, supplies and equipment,” and a smaller percentage indicated reducing course offerings and instruction in the arts.

The survey indicated that “long-term investment in education remains the best way to build opportunity for Ohioans.” And that would mean taxing “emerging and growing” parts of the economy including “…oil and gas production as well the collection of taxes on internet sales by out-of-state retailers.”


Avalara Author
Susan McLain
Avalara Author Susan McLain
Susan McLain began her career as a technical writer in technology industries such as satellite networking and medical devices. Her skills encompass technical and marketing writing, usability engineering, verification and validation testing and protocol writing, requirements development, business analysis, technical illustration/graphic design and marketing. She has owned her own business providing service to small to medium sized business and in other positions, she has been in project management, documentation and marketing. She is currently the content specialist for Avalara helping to “make sales tax less taxing.”