FILE - high school graduation

(The Center Square) – Ohio taxpayers spend more than most states to educate a high school graduate, but it’s below average when ranked against other states in terms of graduation rate, according to new report from MoneyGeek.

MoneyGeek, a personal finance technology company, released an analysis of public K-12 education effectiveness that ranked each state by spending per high school graduate, comparing states that spend the most against their graduation rate and college placement test rates.

Overall, the report showed it costs Ohio taxpayers $220,000 per high school graduate, if the student begins the education process in the state. That ranks 19th in the nation. However, Ohio spends $24.9 million annually between state and local taxes on education, ranking it eighth in total spending in the nation.

The Buckeye State’s graduation rate of 82% ranked 37th in the nation, which drives up the cost per graduate, according to the report.

The Ohio General Assembly is debating an overhaul to the state’s school funding formula, which could mean an additional $2 billion in annual spending for education.

The proposed legislation changes the base cost formula to include a district’s income and takes into account everything involved in education, including professional development and extracurricular activities.

A key change to local funding, according to the sponsors, is the new plan would base 60% of a district's local funding capacity on property values and 40% on resident income.

The plan also changes how community schools and voucher systems are paid. The money will go to the school educating the student, rather than the home district and then passed on.

MoneyGeek’s report showed across the country there is a wide price tag to create a high school graduate. New York is the most expensive state, spending $338,000 per graduate, while Idaho spends nearly a third of that at $131,000.

Overall, according to the study, states spend 18% of their budgets on elementary and secondary education, double what states on average spend on hospitals and health care.

The study also found no correlation between how much a state spends and how well students perform on the SAT and ACT college entrance exams.

Regional Editor

An Ohio native, J.D. Davidson is a veteran journalist with more than 30 years of experience in newspapers in Ohio, Georgia, Alabama and Texas. He has served as a reporter, editor, managing editor and publisher.