Research & Reports


May 2024

Dr. Howard Fleeter provided expert testimony before the Joint Committee on Property Tax Review and Reform. His testimony centered on the HB 920 Tax Reduction Factors and how they have resulted in school districts needing to return to the ballot over and over, the shift in the property tax burden to residential and agricultural property owners, and the interaction between the school funding formula and property values.

March 2024
Dr. Howard Fleeter examines Ohio’s school funding trends from FY11-FY24. This article summarizes changes in Ohio K-12 public school foundation formula funding and Tangible Personal Property (TPP) replacement payments from FY11 through FY24. The analysis begins with fiscal year (FY) 11 to show state spending in more normal economic circumstances following the 2008-2009 great recession. It also shows that Ohio traditional school funding has not kept pace with inflation when TPP revenue loss and replacement are taken into consideration. This article is especially timely as the legislature is set to debate school funding and property tax law during the next budget cycle which will likely include recommendations from the Joint Committee on Property Tax Review and Reform.

February 2024
Dr. Howard Fleeter examines the extent to which Ohio’s property tax burden has changed since 1975.  The analysis begins with property tax data for tax year (TY) 1975, the year prior to the adoption of HB 920, and continues at 8-year intervals in 1983, 1991, 1999, 2007, and 2015, as well as TY 2022 (the most recent year for which detailed property tax information by class of property is available). This article is especially timely with the historic property value increases Ohioans are experiencing and the legislative focus on tax relief.

Dr. Howard Fleeter summarizes replacement levy utilization by school districts from 2014-2023. This article shows that of the 2,701 school levies that have been on the ballot in the past 10 years only 20 (0.74%) have been replacement levies.  This article is especially timely in light of the legislative focus on tax relief and HB 344’s proposal to eliminate the replacement levy as an option from the toolbox for schools and other local governments in Ohio.

Dr. Howard Fleeter clarifies information published in a recent 10WBSN news article that erroneously confused state aid formula amounts with Ohio sports gaming revenue.

December 2023
Dr. Howard Fleeter updated a 2009 OEPI article on HB 920, which provides a comprehensive overview of the tax reduction factors enacted in Ohio in 1976, commonly referred to as HB 920 for the legislation that established them. This is especially timely with the historic property value increases Ohioans are experiencing and the legislative focus on tax relief.

June 2023

Dr. Howard Fleeter examined data from Ohio’s school voucher programs and has compiled a report with new findings. The report provides an overview of Ohio’s current voucher programs as well as proposals to modify vouchers in the future. In addition, the report shows data analysis on enrollment. Dr. Howard Fleeter also examined the Ohio Senate’s proposed budget and the impact it would have on public education funding.

May 2023

Dr. Howard Fleeter provided testimony to the Senate Primary and Secondary Education Committee on House Bill 33, the biennial budget bill for the fiscal year 2024 and 2025 biennium. Click the link below to read Dr. Fleeter’s testimony and click here to watch the testimony.

House Bill (HB) 1

Dr. Howard Fleeter provides a summary and analysis on House Bill 1, which would modify the law regarding property taxation and income tax rates.

January 2023

Dr. R. Gregory Browning and Dr. Howard Fleeter released a report Funding Supplemental Services for Economically Disadvantaged Students in Ohio: Analysis and Policy Implications. The central focus of this analysis is to help Ohio educators and public policymakers gain a deeper understanding of the specific supplemental services being provided to Ohio public primary and secondary school students who come from economically disadvantaged circumstances. The report also includes a preliminary analysis of the costs associated with providing these services. The analysis is designed to be both informative and foundational to a separate comprehensive study of these costs. This report also creates context for these issues by providing an overview of federal and state funding for low-income students in Ohio, a comparison of Ohio’s formula for funding low-income students with that of other states, and a discussion of issues relating to the identification of low-income students in Ohio.

June 2022

Dr. Howard Fleeter provides an update on the changes to Ohio School Foundation Funding & TPP Replacement from FY11-FY22.

May 2022

Dr. Howard Fleeter provides an analysis and results of the school levies on the ballot in the May 3, 2022 primary election.

May 2022

Dr. Howard Fleeter provides a brief overview of school levies on the ballot in the May 3, 2022 primary election.

March 2022

Dr. Howard Fleeter reflects on the 25th anniversary of the DeRolph v. State of Ohio court decision in his article “The Central Importance of the DeRolph Rulings to School Funding in Ohio.” Dr. Fleeter’s article is a primer not only on the DeRolph case, but also on the history of school funding in Ohio over the past 32 years.

June 2021

Dr. Howard Fleeter has analyzed the Ohio Senate’s school funding formula proposal, which was introduced in June 2021 as part of the House Bill 110 biennial budget process.

May 2021

Dr. Howard Fleeter provided testimony to the Senate Primary and Secondary Education Committee on House Bill 110, the biennial budget bill for the fiscal year 2022 and 2023 biennium. Click the link below to read Dr. Fleeter’s testimony and click here to watch the testimony.

September 2019

Dr. Howard Fleeter has monitored the work of the Cupp/Patterson School Funding Workgroup since its inception in November 2017. The funding overhaul recommendations from the Workgroup were introduced as a stand-alone bill in June 2019 (HB 305). Dr. Fleeter has analyzed the as-introduced version of HB 305.

October 2018

For the past several years, Dr. Howard Fleeter, consultant for the Ohio Education Policy Institute (OEPI), has analyzed school district report card data looking particularly at the relationship between educational outcomes and district socioeconomics. The results of this analysis have consistently shown that test performance is highly and negatively correlated with poverty.

September 2018 – Updated September 2020

August 2018

School funding expert, Dr. Howard Fleeter, released the results of an analysis of how Ohio’s school funding system has fared since the landmark DeRolph Supreme Court case, decided in 1997.

March 2018 – Updated September 2020

November 2017

September 2017 – Updated September 2020

May 2017 – Budget

January 2017 – Updated September 2020

November 2016

January 2016

November 2015

January 20, 2016
Analysis shows disparities with report card’s new Prepared for Success measure

COLUMBUS — Results of Ohio’s new “Prepared for Success” measures on public school district report cards indicate significant disparities between economically disadvantaged students and their peers, according to an analysis just released.

Three statewide education management organizations: the Ohio School Boards Association, Buckeye Association of School Administrators, and Ohio Association of School Business Officials requested the analysis through the Ohio Education Policy Institute (OEPI). Dr. Howard Fleeter, consultant for the OEPI, prepared the analysis of the state’s recently released report card data.

Dr. Fleeter found stark differences among school districts in the college and career readiness of their students as measured by new indicators on Ohio’s school district report cards. Districts with a high percentage of students who come from low socioeconomic circumstances generally score much lower on the new Prepared for Success measures.

The 2014-2015 school year is the first to be subject to a variety of new school district report card measures. Aimed at a more comprehensive look at the way school districts serve students, the new data provides yet another reminder that more work is needed to close the gap between wealthy and poor students, according to Dr. Fleeter. The measures include performance and participation rates on SAT and ACT tests, the number of students taking Advanced Placement tests, and college matriculation rates.

After grouping the state’s school districts by decile according to the percentage of districts’ economically disadvantaged students, Fleeter’s analysis shows there is a 23.5 point percentage gap between the average 4-year graduation rate in districts with less than 10% economically disadvantaged students (97.4%) and districts with greater than 90% economically disadvantaged students (73.9%). Fleeter also found that ACT test participation increases steadily as the percentage of lower income students declines across 9 of the 10 deciles.

Fleeter states, “A very clear pattern exists whereby the likelihood of receiving an Honors diploma increases dramatically as the percentage of economically disadvantaged students declines.”

The three education organizations requesting the analysis hope to use the results to petition lawmakers to take action. Spokespersons for the groups say the new report card data is just one more piece of evidence pointing to the need for innovative solutions that go beyond the classroom.

Media contacts:
Dr. Howard Fleeter, OEPI: (614) 461-4177
Damon Asbury, OSBA: (614) 540-4000
Barbara Shaner, OASBO: (614) 325-9562
Tom Ash, BASA: (614) 425-3974