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Columbus Mayoral Candidate Says Schools Unequal; Files Suit

Columbus mayoral candidate Bill Todd is suing the Columbus city schools and state department of education. He claims the city school system and the Ohio Department of Education maintain an unfair an inequitable system of education.

Bill Todd filed suit Monday on behalf of five Columbus residents who live within the Columbus City Schools district.

"Our public school system has failed on the job repeatedly over a long period of time," Todd says. "And this lawsuit is designed to address those failings."

Todd says that while the system as a whole earned a "C" average in the most recent state assessment, more than half the schools are failing. He blamed disparities from one school to the next as a major problem.

"We do not have a thorough and efficient system of education of public schools as demanded by the Ohio Constitution," Todd says. "Nor are we providing equal protection under laws or equal benefits as the Ohio constitution requires for our children. Those two constitutional provisions are being violated every day by the Columbus city school system and our state and local school bureaucrats."

Todd pointed to Department Of Education statistics that indicate the Columbus school system spends nearly $5,000 more per student at Winterset Elementary in northwest Columbus than it does on students at Liberty Elementary on the Far East Side.

"We need to provide a superior education for each and every child in central Ohio including those in the Columbus city school district," he said. "I'm shocked and appalled by the fact that there are kids in different parts in the city of Columbus that have such disparate opportunities for education. There's no excuse for it; none whatsoever. We can't tolerate it any longer."

Officials with Columbus City Schools and the Ohio Department of Education declined comment on the lawsuit.