The state of state funding

Governor Kasich and his administration are working hard to develop a new formula for funding Ohio’s schools.  Their first pass was released a few weeks ago, and is causing much confusion.  The promise is that all districts are held at least harmless versus this year, and that many districts will receive additional funds.  However, how much that is, and if the Governor’s office is able to keep that promise, still remain to be seen.

In the initially released numbers, it appears that Milford would be gaining approximately $1.1 million versus where we are now.  However, there are several confusing pieces to this:

  1. We are not sure what number is being used as the baseline.  That $1.1 million could change significantly as the baseline changes.  Right now, the formula would not provide $1.1 million more than where we are right now.
  2. As other districts that are not getting additional funds, or not as much of an increase, begin to lobby their legislators, the funding formula will change.  This is a standard part of the legislative process:  it is extremely rare for any piece of legislation to end up on the voting floor in the same state it was initially introduced.  Since there is a limited amount of money available, as other districts are allocated more, we will necessarily be allocated less.
  3. The formula will not come to a vote until summertime.  In addition to the legislative negotiations that will occur, there will likely be a number of tweaks to the formula over the next few months.  This can also cause changes.
  4. Even if we received the full $1.1 million outlined in the initial document, this is only a fraction of the $4+ million we have already lost, starting this year.  While it would certainly be welcome, it would not solve our funding problems; instead, it would simply allow us to extend the amount of time a levy would last.  The levy on the ballot for May 7 is still very much needed to preserve the level of programs and services we are currently offering.

Everyone involved in the state funding process is confused right now, which is very normal when statewide programs like this are in a change cycle.  We as a district are not adding anything to our forecast at this point.  Until we know more about how the formula will work, and until it’s been voted on, we would have no idea what to add to our budget.  As we learn more, I will keep you updated.

2 Responses to “The state of state funding”

  1. Wendy Veysey Says:

    In Washington State the courts have recently ruled that the state government illegally cut funding to schools and they now have to find a way to return I think in the order of 1 billion in cuts to education, so of course the new legislature is having a hard time with that! I also think the state is poised to get an exemption for the NCLB deadlines. FYI

  2. andreabrady Says:

    That’s interesting, Wendy, thanks for sharing. I wonder what will happen? In Ohio, state funding has been ruled unconstitutional over & over, but nothing has been done to change it. There is no one to enforce the requirement to change, so it just keeps on. It’ll be interesting to see what happens in WA, and how they make it work. Everyone needs money, from the utilities to the municipalities. It’s tough, that’s for sure…

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