What will change under Ohio’s new fair school funding program?

Columbus, Ohio — Proponents of Ohio’s new school funding program say they ultimately need to provide the level of equity and credibility that past spending programs lacked.

The Fair School Funding Plan, approved as part of the state budget last month, is spending about $ 12.4 billion this year and $ 12.6 billion in 2023. At the core of this plan is how the state calculates the funds it provides to each student in the district. The new system weighs district costs and calculates the base funding per student.

“It’s the amount we’re willing to spend, rather than” what the kids need and pay for it. “divide it by the number of kids and we Let’s take a look at what came up. Steve Dyer, a government director of the Ohio Education Association and a former Democrat from Akron, said: “This is a completely different way of looking at school funding. . “

The plan has passed significantly in the House of Representatives and the Senate, but it is not universally admired. Republican Senator Matt Huffman said he was concerned about the cost of the long-term plan. Also, some educators welcome this concept and note that lawmakers deleted the word at the last moment to address the need to step through plans in more than six years.

“This short-term approach cannot stabilize the funding needed beyond the next two-year budget cycle,” said central Ohio, one of the state’s fastest-growing districts. Emily Hatfield, Treasurer of Olentangy Local School, said.

Let’s take a look at the components of the fair school funding plan.

Basic cost

In the past, parliamentarians have reached a share per student (current budget of $ 6,020) that the state is willing to pay. This is not always clear and is based on unscientific measures that may be based on state revenues. As a residual budget.

In the Fair School Funding Plan, the cost per student in the state is based on the actual costs the district faces, such as teacher salaries and allowances, transportation, technical needs, and the number of managers. Most of the money, about 60%, goes to direct classroom instruction. According to the school funding plan approved last month, the base cost averages $ 7,200 per student in most districts.

Ryan Pendleton, Chief Financial Officer of Akron Public School, said: “So from the time they picked up to the time they logged off at night, and everything in between.”

According to legislative analysis, more than 80% of Ohio’s more than 600 districts will receive $ 7,000 to $ 8,000 in basic funding per student.

District share

The method of measuring the contribution of the local community is also changing. In the old system, what the district could pay was primarily based on property tax values. Most people were low-wage earners in the town, although large companies in the district could distort the amount that some districts could afford. It also relied on comparisons with local support in other districts. That is, the ability of a particular district to provide local dollars was largely determined by the contributions of other districts. This could make the district richer or poorer than it really is.

Now that school funding plans are legislated, local district shares are based on both the value of property taxes and the income of the district’s inhabitants, which can actually contribute to the base cost. Can be grasped more accurately. This plan also improves accuracy, as district share is determined by the amount of money you can actually pay, regardless of what other districts are donating.


Earlier school funding plans included provisions to ensure that the district did not lose money year after year. This is a method called warranty. The system protected districts with temporary changes in factors that could affect financing, such as registration, asset value, and local income. Approximately 350 districts are guaranteed in 2019, and the number continues to grow.

Under a fair school funding plan, guarantees are expected to diminish and potentially disappear.

“There is a conceptual need for guarantees, but the goal is to eliminate the need for guarantees if there is a formula that can be implemented over time, well funded, and slowly implemented,” Will. Schwartz said. Deputy Director of Legislative Services, Ohio Board of Education Association.


Earlier school funding systems also set limits on the amount of money that some districts could receive, based on how much state funding was available.

Tom Hosler, director of the Perisburg District School on the outskirts of Toledo, said: This limit often affects fast-growing districts, where costs increase as student enrollment increases, forcing districts to rely more often on voters to make up for the difference. The Fair School Funding Plan aims to remove the cap once the plan is fully funded.


Additional funding was proposed by Republican Governor Mike DeWine two years ago for mental health services and welfare children to enhance their children’s education by addressing needs other than normal school requirements. Was intended to pay for programs such as services. DeWine was demanding $ 1.1 billion in wellness funding when it first proposed a state budget this year.

The Fair School Funding Plan incorporates wellness spending into a new scheme, requiring you to pay for these enhanced services. It is now permanently part of the funding system and should be maintained after DeWine resigns.

Funds by category

The state will continue to support poor children, talented children, special education students, and students in career technology education programs, but the new system will not add a specific amount of money, but as a percentage of their base cost. Increase funding for children Extra money as the state has done in the past. The exception to the new plan percentage rule is funding poor students. This has risen from $ 272 to $ 422 per student with the goal of transferring that money to a future percentage.

Spencerville High School students will enter the gymnasium at the graduation ceremony on May 30th. The recently passed Fair School Funding Plan changes the way Ohio calculates the funds it provides to each student in the district.

What will change under Ohio’s new fair school funding program?

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