Twenty Years in the Trenches: One Man's Undying Fight for Equitable and Adequate School Funding in Ohio

It is vital to examine the perspectives of William Phillis, the Executive Director of the Ohio Coalition for the Equity and Adequacy of School Funding, on the DeRolph case and the politics of inequitable school funding in Ohio because “in a society in which we believe that the purpose of education is to create equality of opportunity, such concerns about equity among school should not be ignored” (Cuatto, 2003, p. 223). Most importantly though “is the fact that the DeRolph cases were the impetus for significant changes to Ohio’s school finance system—changes that would inevitably affect the present and future prospects of students throughout the state” (Obhof, 2005, p. 84). This study seeks to reveal Bill’s perspectives as to the politics, nature, and development of public school financing in Ohio. The chosen research approach used is to document William’s experiences while operating under the framework of a high-impact case, as these are “cases studied and documented because of the impacts illuminated and the significance of the case to a field, problem, or society” (Patton, 2015, p. 274). Participant selectipn was done using single-significant-case-sampling. Data has been collected through two semi-structured interviews, then analyzed and coded using qualitative data analysis software. Recommendations from the study encourage citizens to pursue civic responsibility to generate change in the funding formula, politicians to abandon political agenda in lieu of the constitutional will, and educators and students alike to continually call for a reformed system of school funding, especially among Appalachian districts such as those in southeastern Ohio covered under the DeRolph v. State of Ohio case.