To the editor:

Do some legislators not know that the General Assembly has the constitutional responsibility to secure a thorough and efficient system of common schools?

When legislators talk about "bad schools," they should get about the business of making the common school system whole rather than providing a way of escape for some students.

House Bill 200 and Senate Bill 85 set the framework for a universal voucher system. The sponsors of House Bill 200 are currently reducing the scope of this legislation as a means of attracting votes, but if enacted, this measure opens the door to a universal voucher system.

In a discussion regarding House Bill 200, a legislator, according to a recent Gongwer News Service publication, said: "But if you are in a bad school and you don't have the money, we want to give you the opportunity to be able to make a choice for your child."

The funding of the public common school system in Ohio was declared unconstitutional four times, and has not yet been fixed. Instead of correcting the funding deficiencies of the system, many state officials work hard to fund vouchers and charters which further diminish the fiscal capacity of school districts. This is reminiscent of the medical practice of bleeding of sick patients 200 years ago. Hence, if a school is considered "bad," take away its life blood to heal it!

The Ohio Constitution should be required reading for state officials.

William L. Phillis
Ohio Coalition for Equity & Adequacy of School Funding