Ohio school administrators say they won't rely on state casino revenues to balance their budgets.
That is a wise approach, considering their cut of gamblers' wagers at the state's casinos will never make up for state funding already taken away.
It was announced earlier this month the first round of casino school funding will total $38 million. That sounds significant, but, when divided among the state's 1.8 million students, it comes to about $21 per child ... .
The Ohio Association of School Business Officials, Buckeye Association of School Administrators, and the Ohio School Boards Association surveyed school officials and found the new funds will not exceed 2 percent of any district's budget. For most schools, it's less than 1 percent ... .
Districts have lost significant funding with the elimination of federal stimulus funds and the reduction in replacement funds for local tangible personal property taxes no longer collected ... .
Some remember a lesson from the '70s, when the public was led to believe playing state lottery games would provide significant funding for our schools.
At first, a share of the game proceeds did go to education, but then the state ended up counting the lottery money toward its portion of the funding for public education, which resulted in no increase for schools.
Some suspect the same could happen with the casino money, depending on how Gov. John Kasich reworks the school funding formula later this month ... .
For now, the better approach would be to use caution. Any money schools get from gambling may best be set aside for a rainy day. Counting on it for much more than that is a bad bet.
The (Findlay) Courier