Re: Decade in Review

Bob Taft

In Gadfly’s January 8th “Decade in Review,” I noticed a minor inaccuracy concerning the September 1999 entry about school facilities. The tobacco settlement provided only $2.5 billion of the Rebuilding Ohio Schools initiative I launched in the fall of 1999. I proposed a 12-year, $10.2 billion plan to rebuild all of Ohio's schools. This initiative was approved by the legislature and by the time I left office more than $6.2 billion had been appropriated for school construction. It utilized the tobacco settlement monies plus bond and general fund dollars. This effort should be mentioned as an overall initiative rather than the tobacco settlement. It has been by far the largest school construction program in Ohio's history and addressed a big part of the findings from the DeRolph decision by funding the poorest school districts first and giving them a much higher percentage of state participation.

Bob Taft
Governor of Ohio (1999-2007)
Distinguished Research Associate, University of Dayton