Two years ago, Governor Kasich introduced a budget that drastically cut funding for schools, overburdened the middle class, and added terrible education policy. Unfortunately, the Governor’s newest biennium budget proposal is basically more of the same.
Two years ago, the Governor claimed there were huge budget shortfalls that he had to fix. Now, he can’t claim that, but he can still continue to push a budget that provides no relief to the middle class, and weakens public schools. Somehow, though, there’s plenty of money to expand the voucher system.
What makes it worse is that the Governor plans to raise revenues on the backs of low and middle class families, while giving the wealthiest Ohioans get a 20% tax cut. He’s selling this as a fair plan that will grow business and help all Ohioans.
Governor Kasich’s budget is another tool to increase the space between the haves and the have-nots.
He considers the sales tax increase “fair” because people will pay it on the goods and services they purchase. However, countless sources consider sales tax “regressive,” because it places more of a burden on middle and lower class individuals than on the wealthy. With an income tax, the first several thousand a person earns aren’t taxed, but a sales tax is collected on every dollar you spend. Also, wealthy people spend a smaller percentage of their money on goods and services than lower class individuals do, according to economics professor Mike Moffatt.
Statistics from Policy Matters Ohio show that Kasich’s proposal would translate into an average cut in taxes of $10,369 for the top 1%, a $1524 cut for the next 4%, and a $63 increase for the lowest 20%.
The pain low and middle class families will feel from Kasich’s budget proposal won’t stop with the tax plan. The Governor’s school funding plans are also grossly inadequate, and will be harmful to Ohio’s children. Since the Governor took office, he has slashed funding for public school, while increasing money for charters and placing unrealistic expectations and counterproductive mandates on principals, teachers and students.
For two years, schools have scrambled to cut costs while continuing to provide quality education to all students. For two years, school districts have been forced to plead with the public to pass more levies to counter the Governor’s budget.
These policies have hurt schools, and the Governor’s new proposal is more of the same. In fact, Governor Kasich has addressed the funding issues, saying his new budget was not meant to determine what it would cost to adequately pay for education, just what would be an equal level of funding.
“Ohio Public Schools – Equally Inadequate no matter where you live” does not sound like a slogan that anyone wants to embrace, yet that’s the slogan that fits the Governor’s school funding policy.
Put additional tax burdens on lower and middle class families.
Cut taxes for the wealthiest Ohioans.
Underfund public schools.
Increase spending and vouchers to unproven, under-performing charters.
These are disheartening statements to consider, knowing that the Governor’s budget proposal is an injustice to hard-working Ohioans and their families.
By Dab Greenberg, Sylvania Education Association