Study: Ohio 22nd in quality K-12 education

By John Bush - [email protected]

COLUMBUS — A new education ranking released last week found Ohio school districts perform better than 28 other states when it comes to providing students with quality schooling.

The ranking, from personal finance website WalletHub, outlined the best and worst school systems in the United States for K-12 education. The ranking was based on 13 factors, ranging from student-teacher ratios to standardized test scores and dropout rates.

The study found that Ohio ranks 22nd overall, six spots behind it’s 2014 ranking of 16th. Regarding school safety, Ohio placed 29th.

The top scorers were Massachusetts, Colorado, New Jersey, Wisconsin and Kentucky. WalletHub named Louisiana, Arizona, Nevada, the District of Columbia and Alaska as the worst states for K-12 education.

States were also ranked based on how much they spent on education. The study’s authors concluded the states that spent the most were also those with the highest quality of education. WalletHub ranked Ohio 30th in school spending.

“States that invest more dollars in education not only benefit their residents but also their economies,” the study stated. “With better earnings, workers in turn can contribute more taxes and beef up state budgets over the long run.”

Mike Perona, public information officer for the Ohio Department of Education, said he could not comment on the study because the ODE was unaware of WalletHub or its annual ranking.

Perona did provide statistics regarding K-12 funding and school safety in Ohio. According to the ODE, the state of Ohio spent $7.2 billion on primary and secondary education in fiscal year 2015, which is more than at any point in state history.

When asked how the ODE is addressing school safety, Perona said the issue has been a “major priority in Ohio.” He pointed to Ohio’s free School Safety Tip Line as an example. The tip line allows students to anonymously report potential safety threats in order to keep them from happening. Perona said more than 1,200 schools around the state have signed up for the tip line since January.

By John Bush

[email protected]

Reach John Bush at 567-242-0456 or on Twitter @bush_lima.

Reach John Bush at 567-242-0456 or on Twitter @bush_lima.