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Public education in Ohio

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K-12 Education in Ohio
State Superintendent: Richard Ross
Number of students: 1,740,030[1]
Number of teachers: 107,972
Teacher/pupil ratio: 1:16.1
Number of school districts: 1,079
Number of schools: 3,714
Graduation rate: 81%[2]
Per-pupil spending: $11,223[3]
See also
Public education in Ohio
Ohio Department of Education
Ohio school districts
List of school districts in Ohio
The Ohio public school system (prekindergarten-grade 12) operates within districts governed by locally elected school boards members and superintendents. Ohio has approximately 597 public school districts. School districts in Ohio are classified as either city school districts, exempted village school districts, or local school districts. City and exempted village school districts are exempted from county boards of education, local school districts remain under county school board supervision.

The Ohio state constitution requires that provisions be made for an educational organization, administration and a public school system.[4] Additionally, the General Assembly is required to make provisions, including taxation and fees, to secure a "thorough and efficient system of common schools throughout the state.[5]

School revenues, expenditures and budget

See also: Ohio state budget
Ohio's education costs are 25% of the state budget

The state of Ohio operates on a biennium. The 2010-211 biennium budget totaled $112.3 billion, of that education totaled $27.7 billion or 25% of the total budget. Specifically education accounted for $13.9 billion in the FY 2010 budget total of $55.68 billion and $13.8 billion in the FY 2011 budget total of $56.62 billion.[6]

The finalized 2010-11 budget is estimated to include $50.5 billion in spending, a $0.7 billion increase compared to years 2008-09. The budget includes a cut in state aid to public education. For 2010, state aid will drop from $8 billion to $7.5 billion and in 2011 aid will drop to $7.2 billion. Despite the cut in state aid, the use of federal stimulus dollars increases total education funding by $502 million.[7][8] The governor signed the budget into law on Friday, July 17, 2009.

In addition to state funding, voters approved of 78 new taxes to help fund public schools.

The cost per pupil is $10,173, ranking 19th highest the nation according the Census Bureau 2007-2008 report.[9]

Personnel salaries

In the 2008-2009 school year Ohio had an average annual teacher salary of $54,656, a $1,246 increase from the 2007-2008 school average teacher salary of $53,410.[10] Below is a chart that details the state's average annual teacher salary from the 2000 to 2008 school years. Additionally, the chart identifies the average pupil/teacher ratio for 2000 through 2007.

School year Avg. annual teacher salary Avg. students per teacher
2000-2001[10] $42,995 18.0
2001-2002[10] $43,755 16.9
2002-2003[10] $45,645 16.5
2003-2004[10] $47,658 18.5
2004-2005[10] $49,436 18.5
2005-2006[10] $50,771 18.6
2006-2007[10] $53,534 19.6
2007-2008[10] $53,410 18.6
2008-2009[10] $54,656 -

Role of unions

The main unions related to the Ohio school system are the Ohio Education Association (OHEA), an affiliate of the National Education Association (NEA), and the Ohio Federation of Teachers, an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers. For the 2003 tax period OHEA had: $50.9 million in total revenue, $46.9 million in total expenses and $43.78 million in total assets.[11] For the 2003 tax period Ohio Federation of Teachers had: $1.11 million in total revenue, $974,268 in total expenses and $1.24 million in total assets.[12]

List of local Ohio school unions:[13]

Role of school boards

The State Board of Education is comprised of 19 members, of which 11 are elected and eight are appointed by the governor. According to the Ohio Department of Education the chairs of the education committees of the House of Representatives and the Senate serve as non-voting members. The superintendent serves as the secretary of the board.

The board of education meets on the second Monday and Tuesday of each month. All of the board's schedules, agendas, minutes and briefs are published and available for the public. Audio files are also available.[14][15]

Taxpayer-funded lobbying

See also: Ohio government sector lobbying

The main education government sector lobbying organization is the Ohio School Boards Association.


In the 2007-2008 General Assembly regular session, the assembly approved House Bill 420, which proposed making statewide expenditures available on an online spending database.[16]

The Buckeye Institute posted, on January 1, 2006, a state employee salary database here. As of January 2009, the Buckeye Institute has provided information on certain salaries received by Ohio State University employees. The database is available here. Additionally, the Institute created, a wiki "dedicated to transparency and accountability in Ohio government."

Academic performance

The chart below details the number of districts from the 2003-2008 school years and their statuses for those years. According to the Ohio Department of Education, districts were sorted into six different categories: excellent w/ distinction, excellent, effective, continuous improvement, academic watch and academic emergency. In the 2008-2009 school year approximately 71% of Ohio's schools received a rating of "effective" or higher.[17]

Year Excellent w/ distinction Excellent Effective Continuous improvement Academic watch Academic emergency
2003-2004[17] - 117 229 224 34 4
2004-2005[17] - 111 297 175 21 5
2005-2006[17] - 192 299 112 7 0
2006-2007[17] - 139 347 113 11 0
2007-2008[17] 74 152 292 83 9 0
2008-2009[17] 116 154 251 79 9 1

State Budget Solutions’ Education Study: “Throwing Money At Education Isn’t Working”

State Budget Solutions’ examined national trends in education from 2009-2011, including state-by-state analysis of education spending, graduation rates, and average ACT scores. The study shows that states that spend the most do not have the highest average ACT test scores, nor do they have the highest average graduation rates. A summary of the study is available here. Download the full report here: Throwing Money At Education Isn’t Working.

See National Chart to compare data from all 50 states.

State Spending on Education vs. Academic Performance 2012

State 2011 Total Spending[18] 2011 Education Spending[19] 2011 Percent Education Spending 2012 Total Spending[20] 2012 Education Spending[21] 2012 Percent Education Spending 2010 Avg. ACT score[22] 2011 Avg. ACT score[23] 2012 Avg. ACT score[24] 2010 Graduation Rate[25] 2011 Graduation Rate[26]
Ohio $111.4 billion $33.1 billion 29.7% $111.5 billion $33.4 billion 29.9% 21.8 21.8 21.8 78.7% 79.0%

School choice

School choice options include:

  • Charter schools: Ohio is a strong charter school state. In 2007-2008, according to reports, approximately 93,000 students attended one of the available 314 public charter schools.[27][28]
  • Public school open enrollment: the state of Ohio has three open enrollment policies: intra-district and inter-district (both mandatory and voluntary). In other words, students are permitted to enroll in any school in any alternative district in the state or in any alternative school within a district.[29]
  • Online learning: Ohio does not have a state-led online program, however the state does have a variety of online charter schools. In 2007-2008, according to reports, Ohio had approximately 34 online charter schools. An estimated 20,000 students were said to be enrolled in online schools as of 2007.[27]


Gov. John Kasich's has proposed more charter schools for the state, but the SEIU Local 119 chapter says that the reform would lead to job losses. Kasich is also hosting a screening of the "Waiting for Superman" documentary, which is being protested by the Ohio Education Association.[30]

See also

External links


  1. National Center for Education Statistics, "Table 2. Number of operating public schools and districts, state enrollment, teacher and pupil/teacher ratio by state: School year 2011–12," accessed March 18, 2014
  2. ED Data Express, "State Tables Report," accessed March 17, 2014 The site includes this disclaimer: "States converted to an adjusted cohort graduation rate [starting in the 2010-2011 school year], which may or may not be the same as the calculation they used in prior years. Due to the potential differences, caution should be used when comparing graduation rates across states."
  3. United States Census Bureau, "Public Education Finances: 2011," accessed March 18, 2014
  4. Ohio Constitution,"Article 6, Section 3," accessed March 31, 2010
  5. Ohio Constitution,"Article 6, Section 2," accessed March 31, 2010
  6. Ohio Office of Budget and Management,"Budget Highlights - Appropriations," accessed April 1, 2010
  7. USA Today,"Ohio governor signs $50.5B state budget," July 17, 2009
  8. Reason:Hit & Run,"How to Cut State Spending: Increase It (Ohio Edition, But Fill In Your State's Name Here)," July 21, 2009
  9. Maine Watchdog, Education Spending Per Child, July 6, 2010
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 10.6 10.7 10.8 10.9 Ohio Department of Education: interactive Local Report Card,"Reports - Average Teacher Salary (State)," accessed March 31, 2010
  11. Center for Union Facts,"Ohio Education Association," accessed March 28, 2010
  12. Center for Union Facts,"Ohio Federation of Teachers," accessed March 28, 2010
  13. Center for Union Facts,"Ohio teachers unions," accessed March 28, 2010
  14. Ohio Department of Education,"State Board of Education," accessed March 28, 2010
  15. Ohio Department of Education,"State Board of Education Members," accessed March 28, 2010
  16. Ohio Legislature,"HB 420 Bill Analyses," accessed March 28, 2010
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 17.4 17.5 17.6 Ohio Department of Education,"2008-2009 Annual Report on Educational Progress in Ohio," accessed March 31, 2010
  18. "Alabama Government Spending Chart - Total Spending" Aug. 4, 2012
  19. "Alabama Government Spending Chart - Education Spending"Aug. 4, 2012
  20. "Alabama Government Spending Chart - Total Spending" Aug. 4, 2012
  21. "Alabama Government Spending Chart - Education Spending"Aug. 4, 2012
  22. 2010 ACT National and State Scores "Average Scores by State"
  23. [ 2011 ACT National and State Scores " Average Scores by State"]
  24. [ 2011 ACT National and State Scores " Average Scores by State"]
  25. National Center for Education Statistics
  26. National Center for Education Statistics
  27. 27.0 27.1 Heritage Foundation,"School Choice in Ohio," accessed March 28, 2010
  28. The Center for Education Reform,"National Charter School Directory," accessed March 28, 2010
  29. Education Commission of the States,"Open Enrollment: 50-State Report," accessed March 28, 2010
  30., Unions react to Gov. Kasich showing of anti-union 'Superman' film in Cleveland, May 19, 2011