Ohio

Eye on Education

Ohio House Moves Away from Kasich’s School Funding Plan

Image courtesy of Ohio House Republican Caucus.

A map released by the Ohio House Republicans shows districts that would get increases in state aid (in green) or no increase (in yellow) under the House's plan.

When Governor John Kasich announced his new school-funding proposal, most superintendents around the state were relieved to hear no one would get a funding cut. Then there was a lot of cheering when Kasich said his new formula would mean rich schools got less and poor schools got more.

As it turned out, the Governor’s description of his plan didn’t fit with the numbers. Projections showed many poor districts would not get an increase, while many districts that are well off would see more in state aid – sometimes a lot more.

Now, the Republican controlled House has come up with its own formula.

“We think we have something pretty close to a workable, sustainable, defensible long term solution here,” House Finance Committee chair Ron Amstutz told reporters yesterday.

Under the Governor’s plan less than a third of districts would have seen an increase in state funding. Under the House model, about half would get more; many of those are poor, rural districts. And some of those rich districts that would have seen increases under the Governor’s plan would get a much smaller increase under the House plan.

[You can see the House's projections for each district here.]

While the Governor’s plan allocated base funding based on home property values and how much a district can raise in local tax levies, the House allots a minimal dollar amount per student. Both plans would then give districts more for various categories, including special education students, gifted students, and students learning English.

The House also lowered the cap on how much of an increase in state aid districts can get each year, which accounts for some of those well-off districts getting smaller increases.

So are superintendents happy again?

“It’s a case of short run, long run,” says Howard Fleeter, an economist with the Education Tax Policy Institute.

“In the short run there are certainly going to be some districts that are not as happy with the house’s version as the Governor’s version,” Fleeter says. “But I think that this type of approach works out better in the long run for all types of school districts.”

Steve Dyer, a former lawmaker now with the liberal think-tank Innovation Ohio likes this Republican revision.

“School funding should be relatively simple, it should figure out what kids need and then fund it.”

Dyer says the House plan does just that.

But this isn’t a done deal, and the Governor can still fight for his proposal. The budget still has to make its way through the House and Senate, and eventually back to the Governor’s desk.

Comments

  • Art Bach

    Anyone who thinks consolidation is a good idea for small rural towns in Ohio, has never been to a small Ohio town. Take a look at the conditions of towns who have 30 years of the after effects of this plight to deal with. No one wants to live in a town without a school. Businesses close up and move away. Property values plummet. Population figures decline. The children in these towns often turn to thuggery, vandalism and drop out of school and perform below other kids on tests. The cost to transport these kids, for as much 2 hours a day to get them to school far surpasses the cost to keep small town rural schools open. Pushed by the folks who scream how patriotic they are and how business oriented they are. Sure have ZERO clue about small town America or the financial devastation school consolidation has on small rural communities.

    Google these towns, see how Great consolidation has been for them. Then push this poison with full knowledge of what the ramifications are for small rural towns without a school. And if your town school becomes a target of this proven failure called consolidation,… Fight it hard and relentlessly. Or watch your town languish and wither, your property values plummet, your children have almost zero opportunity to participate in extracurricular actives, significantly lower student achievement for your children and the cost to finance a consolidated district far out cost your local school expenses.

    Hartford, Ohio

    Fowler, Ohio

    Green, Ohio

    Johnston, Ohio

    West Farmington, Ohio

    Vernon, Ohio

    Gustavus, Ohio

    Orangeville, Ohio

    Anyone who thinks consolidation is a good idea for small rural towns in Ohio, has never been to a small Ohio town. Take a look at the conditions of towns who have 30 years of the after effects of this plight to deal with. No one wants to live in a town without a school. Businesses close up and move away. Property values plummet. Population figures decline. The children in these towns often turn to thuggery, vandalism and drop out of school and perform below other kids on tests. The cost to transport these kids, for as much 2 hours a day to get them to school far surpasses the cost to keep small town rural schools open. Pushed by the folks who scream how patriotic they are and how business oriented they are. Sure have ZERO clue about small town America or the financial devastation school consolidation has on small rural communities.

    Google these towns, see how Great consolidation has been for them. Then push this poison with full knowledge of what the ramifications are for small rural towns without a school. And if your town school becomes a target of this proven failure called consolidation,… Fight it hard and relentlessly. Or watch your town languish and wither, your property values plummet, your children have almost zero opportunity to participate in extracurricular actives, significantly lower student achievement for your children and the cost to finance a consolidated district far out cost your local school expenses.

    Hartford, Ohio

    Fowler, Ohio

    Green, Ohio

    Johnston, Ohio

    West Farmington, Ohio

    Vernon, Ohio

    Gustavus, Ohio

    Orangeville, Ohio

About StateImpact

StateImpact seeks to inform and engage local communities with broadcast and online news focused on how state government decisions affect your lives.
Learn More »

Economy
Education