Ohio

Eye on Education

Ohio Senate School Funding Plan Would Increase Funding Over Ohio House Plan

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The school funding plan proposed by state Senate Republicans today would increase the total amount of state money going to K-12 schools over the amount proposed by the Ohio House, Ohio Public Radio’s Jo Ingles reports:

Republican State Senator Chris Widener says the basic amount the state spends per pupil in Ohio’s schools increases under this plan. “This drives an additional $284 million in [fiscal year] 14 again, going specifically in the foundation formula line item to our public school districts in Ohio and $434 million in [fiscal year] 15,” Widener said.


The Senate plan also raises the limit on how much school districts can see their state funding increase, compared to the House plan, the Columbus Dispatch reports. That means that fast-growing suburban districts could fare better under the Senate plan than under the House plan:

The House-passed plan capped maximum funding increases at 6 percent per year. The Senate plan raises that to 6.5 percent in 2014 and 10.5 percent in 2015.

Like the House plan, the Senate plan focuses on giving school districts a base amount of money per pupil. In that way, the models the legislature is pushing are different from the one proposed by Gov. John Kasich earlier this year. Kasich’s plan focused on equalizing school districts’ abilities to raise money through taxes.

Ohio has long struggled to find a constitutional way to fund public education. The Ohio Supreme Court has said three times that Ohio’s school funding system is unconstitutional.

But Ohio Senate President Keith Faber says he thinks this plan might be the one that fixes things:

“We are effectively trying to reduce the differentiation between school districts.  Remember DeRolph didn’t say you can’t rely on property taxes.  But what it says is you can’t have a system that disproportionately provides inadequate resources to poor districts…rich districts don’t seem to have that problem,” Faber said.

 

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