Sunday, March 18, 2029

Did you get that little blue Aetna card from STRS for your flu shot?

From John Curry, March 17, 2014
You might want to read the fine print! 
In 2011 Aetna began offering the Flu Care card to large self-insured employers and groups. Meadows got one because he has a Medicare Advantage plan as a member of the State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio. 
The perk to the card, says Aetna, is that it serves as a reminder to get the flu vaccine and helps expedite the paperwork process for the consumer." 
As with most consumer financial products, the cards' terms are "take it or leave it" propositions that can't be negotiated, said Cordray, a former Ohio attorney general. 
"They encourage you to use the card with this easy-to-understand language and marketing material, and in the same envelope include a confusing legal agreement that I don't think most people in their elderly years would understand enough to know what they're giving up," said Meadows. "That seems like a shame to me.
Warning: These prepaid cards come with strings attached 
March 14, 2014 
The bright blue plastic card promised to make getting a flu shot easier for Bruce Meadows by letting him go to any nearby pharmacy.
But "why would I need a new card to get a flu shot when Medicare already covers (the vaccine), and I already have a Medicare card?" the 82-year-old Mason resident wondered. 
The flu shot card Aetna sent to Bruce Meadows of Mason was actually a prepaid card from Citi. (Photo: The Enquirer/Joseph Fuqua II )
While the card was sent from Aetna, Meadows' Medicare Advantage insurer, it actually was a prepaid card from Citi that works much like a credit or debit card. Cashing it in to get a flu shot meant Meadows could avoid paperwork hassles to get reimbursed by his insurer, but at the expense of giving up a slew of legal rights – including his right to a jury trial, class action lawsuit or appeal process – against the global financial giant. 
From flu shots to health savings accounts to checking accounts and more, consumers are increasingly being forced to weigh their legal rights against the benefits of easy-to-use credit or debit cards – prepaid or otherwise. 
The cards, like a growing list of other business contracts, include a provision that requires users to solve nearly all disputes out of court through arbitration. 
"If you were to look in your wallet right now, the chances are high that one or more of your credit cards, debit cards or prepaid cards would be subject to a pre-dispute arbitration clause," said Richard Cordray, director of the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau during December testimony to Congress. 
The bureau is studying the impact that arbitration provisions are having on consumers. 
Supporters of the clauses say arbitration can be a more convenient, faster and cheaper way to settle disputes without the hassle of the courts. 
But opponents say the clauses rob consumers of their legal rights and are often packed with undecipherable legalese only intended to insulate businesses from potentially costly litigation. 
As with most consumer financial products, the cards' terms are "take it or leave it" propositions that can't be negotiated, said Cordray, a former Ohio attorney general. 
"They encourage you to use the card with this easy-to-understand language and marketing material, and in the same envelope include a confusing legal agreement that I don't think most people in their elderly years would understand enough to know what they're giving up," said Meadows. "That seems like a shame to me." 
A February report published by Pew Charitable Trusts shows a growing number of checking accounts and prepaid cards include binding arbitration agreements "that are confusing to most consumers, even if carefully read." 
The provisions are so prevalent in card contracts, according to the report, that they prevent consumers from shopping around to try to avoid the terms. The contracts even apply to programs like private health insurance plans – and with nearly 20 percent of all employer-covered workers enrolled in high-deductible health insurance plans last year, a growing number of consumers are likely to find arbitration language attached to their health savings accounts. 
"I think the public, generally, has no damn idea that they're getting hoodwinked into giving away the constitutional rights that our forefathers died for," said John Metz, a Hyde Park-based medical malpractice lawyer. "But more and more corporations are doing this – and the courts have said it's OK." 
US Supreme Court upholds arbitration clauseAmong the most notable cases upholding arbitration provisions is a 2011 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that allows companies to block class-action lawsuits by forcing each complaint into arbitration. 
The decisionwas the result of a lawsuit filed against AT&T by a California resident who was charged taxes on the full retail price of a cellphone he bought at a discount. When the buyer pursued class-action status, AT&T pointed to an arbitration clause in its cellphone contract. 
"The courts have basically said they will not interfere with contracts, because they are so important to business, so more corporations are putting this in, and are essentially free of the justice system," said Metz. 
For its part, Citi says the language used in the pamphlet included with Meadows' Flu Care card is typical for all recipients of the card. 
“I don’t think most people in their elderly years would understand enough to know what they’re giving up,” Meadows says.(Photo: The Enquirer/Joseph Fuqua II)
"The arbitration agreement is included as standard with all Citi-issued prepaid cards," the company said in an email. "We continuously review and update our policies to ensure they are appropriately designed and compliant with all applicable regulations." 
The company added that, "in general, cardholders have not expressed concern regarding this provision." 
In 2011 Aetna began offering the Flu Care card to large self-insured employers and groups. Meadows got one because he has a Medicare Advantage plan as a member of the State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio. 
The perk to the card, says Aetna, is that it serves as a reminder to get the flu vaccine and helps expedite the paperwork process for the consumer. 
"For members who choose to get a flu shot at a pharmacy, this debit card eliminates any hassle for the member. They show the card and Aetna gets the claim for the flu shot," said Rohan Hutchings, a spokesman for Aetna. "It is a one-time-use card so the member doesn't have to pay money out of their wallet and then go through the process of submitting a claim for the 100 percent covered shot." 
The other option, Hutchings said, is for the member to pay the pharmacy upfront for the shot, then submit a claim to Aetna for reimbursement. At a doctor's office, the doctor would submit the claim for the flu shot to Aetna. 
The arbitration agreement, Hutchings noted, does not include Aetna or the participating pharmacies. 
The flu card "is a popular program that saw a 33 percent increase in usage by Medicare Advantage members last year," Hutchings said. 
The Flu Care card sent to Meadows and thousands of others across the state last year expired Feb. 15, but Aetna said it plans to continue the program for the next flu season because of its popularity. 
You have a choice: Agree to their terms or don't use card 
Tom Bedall, a managing attorney at the Roselawn-based nonprofit Pro Seniors Inc., said he sees "no nefarious purpose" in the arbitration clause attached to the Flu Care card. 
"Consumer arbitration agreements have been found legal, within certain parameters, by the Ohio Supreme Court and are in use in many different consumer agreements," Bedall said, adding that even nursing homes are increasingly using the clauses in their admission contracts for seniors. 
"There is a choice to agree or not to agree," said Bedall. 
But whether consumers understand enough about arbitration clauses to know what they're agreeing to is up for debate. 
"Consumers may open a new account or take on a new product without being aware of what the contract says or without fully understanding its implications," Cordray said. 
In a report published in December, the financial protection bureau found that while tens of millions of consumers are subject to arbitration clauses, on average, consumers filed just 300 disputes in the markets studied by the bureau each year between 2010 and 2012. 
The bureau is examining whether consumers are aware of the terms of arbitration clauses and whether the clauses influence consumers' decisions about which products to purchase. 
For now, the bottom line for consumers remains "look past the shiny marketing materials and always read the fine print," said Laurie Petrie of the Council on Aging of Southwestern Ohio. "We tell seniors all the time, 'If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.' "

Tuesday, March 13, 2029

Rich DeColibus on Portfolio Districts: The New Trojan Horse

Rich DeColibus to Lisa Pogrebinsky
March 7, 2014
Dear Ms. Pogrebinsky,
While I don't know the particulars of your Collective Bargaining Agreement, nor the operational details of what exactly happens in "investment" schools, I did check around and some of what's now going on fits into a fairly detailed and scripted political plan to privatize public education. There have been intervention clauses in the Agreement for years, but the intent was always to increase the resources available to struggling schools; now, it seems, this appears to have been transformed into a twisted attempt to blame teachers for all ills, and use this philosophy as an excuse to dismantle the public school system in Cleveland.
The overall strategy comes from the political right and strives to create "portfolio districts."  ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council), a beloved creation of the Reagan era anti-government and anti-union conservatives, assembles and disseminates legislative initiatives, mostly state level, in a variety of areas, not the least of which is a burning desire to privatize all public education. Public schools are always described as "failing" whether or not their test scores are, in fact, better or worse than local charter schools. In Cleveland, it's no secret the public schools are considerably better than most of the local charter schools; this data is clearly and easily established by recent State of Ohio test scores.
ALEC's not-too-subtle agenda involves passing legislation focusing on five ways to attack public education: (1) advocating vouchers; (2) advocating charter schools; (3) breaking teacher unions; (4) discrediting public schools, and (5) watering down teacher certification (for example, the Teach For America program). After you dissemble the flowery language and the extensive claims of how well this works elsewhere (it doesn't), the bottom line is focused on eliminating public schools and replacing them with charter or otherwise privately operated schools.
The portfolio approach is gilded in free market rhetoric and an unquestioning faith in "competition" to solve all problems. It assumes a successful manufacturing and marketing process of making and selling; for example, toothpaste should be transferred completely to the way schools should be run. Whether the overall education of Cleveland's children is really well served by a free market approach is deemed irrelevant and subservient to the purist ideology which drives the portfolio system of beliefs.
Here's how ALEC envisions it to work. Most administrative authority is retained by the central office, which implements Student Based Budgeting (SBB) at the building level.  The beauty of this concept is, when student achievement does not go up (remember, the goal is privatization, not better student test scores), the central office can place all blame on the schools, ignoring its responsibility to provide enough human and other resources to make whatever improvements are really necessary to help students succeed better.
After the student achievement fails to improve in a given building, the school is "churned" or, as pro-portfolio advocates like to say, undergoes "creative destruction."  (This is the actual term used in the literature!)  The current faculty and staff are dispersed elsewhere in the district (best case scenario) or simply terminated. A new charter school is then allowed to reopen in the empty building.  Needless to say, for a "new" school comprised entirely of teachers and others who have never worked together to be successful is rather unlikely, but that's OK in the portfolio version because it will simply be "churned" again after a few years.
This is not just my version of events.  Kenneth J. Saltman of DePaul University looked at the portfolio phenomenon a few years ago. Utilizing EPRU (Education Policy Research Unit, Arizona State University) and EPIC (Education and the Public Interest Center, University of Colorado), he analyzed some of the portfolio literature and related school reform efforts. Similarly, research-oriented peers in the field of educational statistics also have looked at portfolio-variant districts. The author can speak more eloquently about it than I can; here is an excerpt from his report [Urban School Decentralization and the Growth of “Portfolio Districts]
The published policy literature advocating implementation of the portfolio model and its elements most often makes assertions without providing credible evidence for its claims. For example, all of the relevant six articles available from the scholarly database Academic Search Premiere write favorably of the portfolio model, but none of them either constitute or reference careful empirical study reviewed by a community of policy scholars. Much of such advocacy writing published about the portfolio model and its constituent elements is generated by authors housed in or connected to policy think tanks that tend to have political and policy agendas. Lacking to date are studies by independent scholars who are concerned with accurate information rather than with a result supporting a preconceived policy agenda.
There is much more but you catch the drift. The portfolio structure has nothing to do with student achievement, and everything to do with eliminating public education, rendering ineffective the local teacher union, advocating for charters and vouchers, and filling classrooms with enthusiastic and well-intentioned recent college graduates taking the equivalent of an internship until they figure out what they want to do with their lives for real.
I suspect your CBA needs some repair work if it allows the kinds of things to happen as envisioned by the portfolio model. Teachers are not the cause of poor student performance in any school I have ever visited; there is a wide-ranging set of interactions involving multiple factors and individuals in each case of student non-performance. The portfolio model simply ignores this entirely and casts all blame on the only individuals who do the real work of the system.
Rich DeColibus

Rich DeColibus, retired educator, is former president of the Cleveland Teachers Union. Ms. Pogrebinsky is currently running for that position.

Dispatch: Lawmakers unhappy with pension plan

From John Curry
March 13, 2014
Lawmakers not happy with teachers pension fund plan 
The Columbus Dispatch 
March 13, 2014 
Some state lawmakers aren’t happy with the State Teachers Retirement System.
Members of the Ohio Retirement Study Council continued to grumble this morning about the pension system’s “plan” — the council chairman say it doesn’t even rise to that level — to bring it into compliance with state law. 
The teacher pension board expects next week to divert $100 million annually in employer health-care contributions to help shore up the pension plan. 
Law requires state pension plans to be able to pay off their unfunded liabilities within 30 years. The teachers’ system hovers at an impermissible 40-year payoff, even following reforms to reduce benefits. 
Stronger-than-expected investment returns and other moves will whittle the number to 36 years, legislators were told this morning, with the shift of health-care funds projected to whittle another four years off that number. 
Michael Nehf, executive director of the State Teachers Retirement System, heard warnings from legislators on the Retirement Study Council that they are keeping a close eye on the system and its $72 billion in pension assets. 
Shifting funds from the flush $3.4 billion health care fund would drop its projected pay-out life span from 49 years to 20 years, Nehf said. 
But, the board would only divert the money for a matter of years, not long-term, and then potentially make “catch-up” payments to the health care fund once the pension fund meets the 30-year standard, he said. 
Rep. Lynn Wachtmann, R-Napoleon, chairman of the study council, chided the teacher pension system for pursuing what he called “one of the more dangerous solutions” after it rejected any decrease in benefits or increase in contributions. 
“I think it is something we need be most watchful of,” Wachtmann said after the meeting. “We’ll see what happens ... I’m not at all pleased with Director Nehf and the board’s response.” 
Sen. Dave Burke, R-Marysville, said the teacher pension plan fix-it plan is “not sustainable” and called for it to quickly remedy its problems. 
The State Teacher Retirement System serves more than 480,000 active, inactive and retired teachers and college and university professors. Last year, it paid $6.5 billion in benefits to about 149,000 retired educators.

Sunday, May 28, 2028

Items of interest in the Archives

Many people have been very interested in reading about the irregularities of the 2013 STRS board election. There are many posts related to this topic, beginning the first week of April 2013, after the ballots were mailed to retirees from STRS. You can find them by going to the Archives for this blog, over in the right sidebar, and clicking on dates beginning with April 7, 2013. Dennis Leone announced his candidacy for a retired seat in November, 2012. There is a lot of information about him in the Archives, beginning with November 12, 2012 posts. 5/28/13

Saturday, February 28, 2026

STRS board meeting dates

Click here for board meeting dates and other information about STRS board meetings.
For further details, look on the STRS home page, under Member News & Information, Public Meeting Notice:

Friday, February 27, 2026 what REALLY happened in 2003 that touched off a firestorm at STRS that is still smoldering today? Read it here, from the Cleveland Plain Dealer. (Hint: It ain't over yet!)

More here (Akron Beacon Journal, 2003)

Friday, April 11, 2025

Friday, March 10, 2017

To find current, day-to-day posts -- pull your scroll bar down a ways, just below the big red arrows (you can't miss them). Thanks.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Find your state representative and senator here.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Note from this blogger.....

In case you weren't aware, I am quite willing to post opposing views on this blog; in fact, I welcome such opportunities. If you disagree with anything you see posted on my blog, please feel free to submit your views and I will gladly post them.
Kathie Bracy 9/15/10.........................................

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Gettin' a little tired.....

Some communications to Mike Nehf and Tim Myers, dating back as far as 2009, continue to go unanswered. Looks like it will be a long wait, but we haven't forgotten. You can see them here and here.

Friday, April 29, 2016

I know, it's weird.........

Many posts that appear "at the top" for a while are eventually moved down, where they can be found under their original posting dates. Also, if you are confused by the postdating, this is done to keep these posts up there; otherwise, they drift down when new posts are added. It's a "blog thing" which I have no other way to control. KB

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Handy links: Contacts, information and more (short version)
This is an abbreviated version of the original 'Handy links' post.
 Click here to view a more complete list. (Some of it is old.)
CORE website (Old) Contact information for just about anybody you would want to contact re: pension and HC concerns)
STRS Board.....STRS website
Board calendar
Map/directions to STRS, 275 E. Broad St. Columbus, OH 43215
Rich DeColibus' PowerPoint presentation STRS' PBI Program; Does it work?: click December 21, 2008 (blog Archive) and scroll down to December 23 posts.
Popular links (labels): , , , ,
SPECIAL (must read):

Dennis Leone's INVESTIGATIVE REPORT on STRS: May 16, 2003...Who is Dennis Leone?........(PDF version)...More on Dennis Leone .......(PDF version)
Dennis Leone's STRS Report to ORTA, March 2007
The Plain Dealer article that opened our eyes, June 8, 2003
Historic PBI vote, January 16, 2009

Tuesday, February 23, 2016


Thursday, March 06, 2014

STRS letter to Ohio Retirement Study Council: Our plan for the 30 year unfunded liability

Feb. 21, 2014 

Ms. Bethany Rhodes, Director
Ohio Retirement Study Council
88 East Broad St., Suite 1175
Columbus, OH 43215-3506 
Dear Ms. Rhodes:
Ohio Revised Code Section 3307.512 requires the State Teachers Retirement Board to establish a period of not more than 30 years to amortize the Retirement System’s unfunded actuarial accrued pension liabilities. When this period exceeds 30 years, the board is required to prepare a report that includes the number of years needed to amortize the unfunded actuarial accrued liabilities along with a board-approved plan that will reduce the amortization period to no more than 30 years. This report is then submitted to the Ohio Retirement Study Council (ORSC) and the standing committees of the House of Representatives and the Senate that have primary responsibility for retirement legislation. In compliance with Section 3307.512, Revised Code, STRS Ohio respectfully submits the following report. 
July 1, 2013 actuarial valuation shows pension reform reduced STRS Ohio’s accrued liabilities by $15.7 billion 
STRS Ohio’s July 1, 2013 pension valuation report is the first report completed by the Retirement Board’s new actuary, The Segal Company, using the new benefit structure resulting from passage of pension reform legislation. The valuation shows the reforms significantly improved STRS Ohio’s funding status. Substitute Senate Bill 342 passed with broad support from STRS Ohio constituents and saved the pension fund $15.7 billion in accrued liabilities, according to Segal’s report. The valuation shows that STRS Ohio’s funded ratio improved to 66.3% from 56%, and the amortization period was reduced to 40.2 years. Before pension reform changes were enacted, STRS Ohio had an infinite amortization period. The pension reforms affect both active members and benefit recipients and include:
• Gradually increasing the age and service requirements for retirement to 35 years of service and age 60 (for unreduced benefits);
• Calculating pensions on a fixed formula of 2.2% for all years of service;
• Increasing the period for determining final average salary to the five highest years of earnings;
• Gradually increasing member contributions to the system to 14% of salary;
• Reducing the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) — No additional COLA paid in fiscal year 2014; COLA is deferred for five years for future retirees and all future COLAs are reduced to 2% of the original benefit (not compounded); and
• Increasing the cost to purchase most types of service credit to 100% of the liability created by the service purchase.

STRS Ohio is focused on reaching a 30-year amortization period for its defined benefit plan
When the General Assembly passed pension reforms, STRS Ohio’s actuary and the Ohio Retirement Study’s Council’s independent actuary projected that STRS Ohio’s reforms would not immediately result in a 30-year amortization period. Pension Trustee Advisors noted Sub. S.B. 342 would put STRS Ohio in a “much more solid financial position than under current law.” The PTA report projected that STRS Ohio would reach 100% funded status by 2041. STRS Ohio is making progress toward its goal. The July 1, 2013 pension valuation report shows STRS Ohio reduced its amortization period and has a net $2.8 billion in unrecognized gains being deferred to future years. The $2.8 billion reserve is due to the fouryear smoothing method that spreads investment market volatility over four-year periods. These remaining gains since 2011 reflect stronger investment returns than the 7.75% assumed discount rate. 
STRS Ohio is pleased to share that fiscal year 2014 also shows strong investment performance to date. We are nearly eight months into the fiscal year and STRS Ohio’s total fund return is +10.5%. Our actuary projects that if these gains hold until June 30, the valuation for the current fiscal year ending June 30, 2014, will show about a four-year reduction in the amortization period as STRS Ohio recognizes part of the smoothed investment gains, and STRS Ohio’s trend to 30 years is positive. The projected smoothing reserve will be $2.1 billion on June 30, 2014. The pension system’s funding progress is especially notable considering STRS Ohio made two changes in recent years to more conservative actuarial assumptions — lowering its assumed actuarial rate of return to 7.75%, and lowering its payroll growth assumption.
STRS Ohio is sharing potential funding improvements with stakeholder groups
Consistent with STRS Ohio’s long standing practice and direction received from the Legislature during deliberations on Sub. S.B. 342, the Retirement Board is working with its stakeholders to share with them the need for continued funding improvements. Constituent support was key in the pension reform process in 2012, and was evident as numerous stakeholder groups testified in support of the significant benefit changes. STRS Ohio will involve its stakeholders in the process of considering future plan revisions. The board is considering several options to reduce the amortization period.
One option discussed by the board at its meetings in January and February was directing all or part of the one percent of employer contributions that now help fund the STRS Ohio Health Care Program into the pension fund. Directing the full one percent employer contribution to the pension fund beginning July 1, 2014, is projected to reduce the amortization period by about four years. STRS Ohio’s actuary projects this move, coupled with the smoothed gains from strong investment returns, would result in an amortization period of about 32 years. That would put STRS Ohio on track to reach a 30-year amortization period in the timeframe that was projected when pension reform legislation was passed in 2012.
STRS Ohio continues to strengthen health care funding status
While providing health care coverage is not a statutory requirement for Ohio’s retirement systems, STRS Ohio understands that its members and benefit recipients value having access to health care benefits. During the pension reform process, several ORSC members expressed their desire to see the retirement systems continue to offer health care coverage to their benefit recipients. STRS Ohio recently received the latest report on the improving financial picture for its Health Care Fund. The Jan. 1, 2014, valuation of the Health Care Fund showed a balance of $3.47 billion. The life of the fund now extends to 2063, an increase of three years from the prior year’s valuation. If STRS Ohio moves the one percent of the employer contributions from the Health Care Fund to the pension fund, the Retirement Board has authority to redirect the one percent back to the Health Care Fund in the future, and to make “catch up” payments to the Health Care Fund once the financial condition of the pension fund improves.
STRS Ohio is studying a funding policy
STRS Ohio has just completed the first year of its phased-in implementation of the pension reforms that were highlighted earlier in this letter. STRS Ohio is pleased to see significant progress in the financial health of the pension fund, and the board and staff recognize that we must responsibly address the 30-year funding requirement. The Retirement Board is continuing its study of a funding policy with its actuary and will continue to use annual valuation reports to monitor the strength of the pension fund. STRS Ohio conducts an experience review at least every five years to compare economic and demographic trends to actuarial assumptions. During this quinquennial review, the actuary may also make further recommendations for changes to the benefit structure.
Board and staff remain committed to keeping STRS Ohio strong for the educators we serve
The Ohio Legislature passed a law in 1919 to create a statewide teacher retirement system to provide retirement security for Ohio’s public school teachers. Today, STRS Ohio serves more than 480,000 active, inactive and retired Ohio educators. As fiduciaries of the system, the Retirement Board will continue to protect the long-term solvency of the retirement system for the benefit of the membership and future generations of Ohio teachers. We will continue to work with our members and stakeholders and enable them to have input on the solutions we develop and implement, based on the board’s authority.
Dale Price..........................Michael J. Nehf 
Retirement Board Chair.....Executive Director

Here's STRS's reply to the ORSC that didn't make Wachtmann happy

From John Curry, March 6, 2014

The STRS reply to the ORSC is attached. Of course, Wachtmann and his fellow legislators have dragged their feet for almost two decades without adequate funding to Ohio's schools, haven't they? In case you forgot that it is.....


From Ohio History Central

DeRolph v. State of Ohio

In 1991, the Ohio Coalition for Equity & Adequacy of School Funding, representing more than five hundred school districts in Ohio, filed suit in the Perry County courts against the State of Ohio for failing to provide adequate funding to educate the state's students. The case was known as DeRolph v. State of Ohio and was named for Nathan DeRolph, a student in the Sheridan High School, in the Northern Local School District in Perry County. The districts claimed that the state failed to provide an "efficient" educational system, as dictated by the Ohio Constitution of 1851, by relying so heavily upon local property taxes to fund schools. The districts contended that school systems in areas with higher property values could much more easily meet the needs of and provide more opportunities for their students, while students in poorer areas suffered.

In 1994, Perry County Court Judge Linton Lewis, Jr., ruled that "public education is a fundamental right in the state of Ohio" and that the state legislature had to provide a better and more equitable means of financing education. Lewis's decision overturned an earlier Ohio Supreme Court ruling from 1979, which claimed that Ohio's school financing system was adequate.

The Ohio legislature appealed the decision to the Fifth District Court of Appeals, which overturned Lewis's decision, stating that he did not have the power to overturn an Ohio Supreme Court decision. The school districts then filed an appeal with the Ohio Supreme Court, which agreed to consider the case in 1996. The next year, the court ruled that Ohio's current method of funding schools violated the Ohio Constitution. The justices ordered that the state government "enact a constitutional school-funding system." 

Unfortunately for state officials, the Ohio Supreme Court provided no real guidance on how to create a constitutional school-funding program. The legislature, instead of implementing an entire overhaul of the system, simply authorized more state funds to schools. In 2000, 2001, and 2002, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled again that the school-funding process in Ohio remained unconstitutional, but the court eventually determined that the Ohio government had made a good-faith effort to change public school funding, and the justices overturned their earlier rulings. Critics of school funding in Ohio remain active in calling for a complete overhaul of the system and an end to the heavy reliance upon property taxes.

Monday, March 03, 2014

School district treasurer calls out a legislator for not fixing school funding.....compares it to STRS

From William L. Phillis
March 2, 2014
School treasurer/CFO Brett Griffith took Representative Lynn Wachtmann to task (via email) for chastising STRS for not submitting a hard-and-fast, long-term funding plan but not discerning that legislators have no plan to fix the school funding system that was declared unconstitutional 17 years ago. With the treasurer's permission, the email is being forwarded.
Brett Griffith to Representative Lynn Wachtmann:
I read an article today that earlier this week you were quoted in an article about pension oversight. The article said: The state's lead lawmaker on pension oversight (State Representative Lynn Wachtmann) said this week that leaders at the State Teachers Retirement System (STRS) are "thumbing their nose at the Legislature" by not submitting a hard-and-fast plan to improve long-term funding. 
I find this very amusing because it is like the kettle calling the pot black. The State Legislature has been told by the Ohio Supreme Court of Ohio to fix school funding, not once but FOUR times over the last 10 or so years and yet you and the rest of the State Legislatures have thumbed your nose at the highest state court in Ohio. Looks like STRS has learned from you. If you are not embarrassed over the comments you made, you should be.
William L. :Phillis is Executive Director of The Ohio Coalition for Equity & Adequacy of School Funding.
Larry KehresMount Union Collge
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