Speaker questions top Ohio judge on school funding

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The leader of the Ohio House says state Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor might need to bow out of school-funding litigation after recent public statements that the state funding formula remains unconstitutional.

Republican House Speaker William Batchelder, of Medina told reporters Friday during a news conference on the state budget that judges usually aren’t allowed to sit on cases after making “advance comments.”

O’Connor told editors of The Columbus Dispatch for a story published June 4 that she didn’t think the status of Ohio’s funding formula had changed since the court last ruled it unconstitutional in 2002. The court repeatedly said the state’s formula relied too much on property taxes.

Batchelder, a former judge, said his reading of the 2002 DeRolph decision was that “what was being done was adequate.”

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