Local superintendents weigh-in on ‘Robin Hood’ bill to fund education

BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – Although Ohio lawmakers think they may have come up with a better way to fund public education not everyone is happy with it.

Boardman Superintendent Frank Lazzeri claims the new plan, which some lawmakers are calling the “Robin Hood effect,” helps poorer districts at the expense of others.

“It is big brother saying that we know what is good for you. To take a tax that is generated in one community and use it to help out other communities – I find that offensive,” Lazzeri said.

A breakdown of what’s known as House Bill 64 shows the lion’s share of school systems in the three county area would receive at least some increase in funding over the next two years, while just three each in Mahoning and Trumbull Counties would see cuts.

Lazzeri said the increases would come from reducing tangible personal property taxes that districts such as Boardman receive.

In Campbell, Superintendent Matt Bowen tells said the proposal, as it stands right now, would send more than $4 million in additional funding to the district.

Just last fall, Campbell voters approved a 14.4 mill tax increase. But because of low property values, the levy brings in less than $1 million a year.

“The state acknowledges they still need to level the playing field. The local dollars where there is a lack of business and industry is still not enough,” Bowen said.

“The governor says yeah they can afford it, you are rich in Boardman. If they live in Boardman, they can afford it and again I find that offensive,” Lazzeri said.

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