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Ohio Supreme Court Decision Attempts to Resolve School Funding Impasse

On September 6, the Ohio Supreme Court issued its third decision in the decade-long school funding case, DeRolph v. State (MS Word Document). In DeRolph III, the court concluded that the state's education finance system continues to be unconstitutional, but gave the legislature and the governor very specific directions on how to bring the system into compliance with the constitutional mandate of a "thorough and efficient system of common schools."

The court declared that the per-pupil foundation amount must be increased and that "parity aid" must be phased in more quickly than previously planned. Assuming that the state would pass the court's requirements into law, the court chose not to retain jurisdiction. Estimates of the cost of the court-ordered changes range from $300 million annually to as much as $1.2 billion annually.

For the 1997 and 2000 state supreme court opinions and a brief summary of the history of the case and the costing-out studies performed, visit our Ohio litigation page.

Prepared September 6, 2001