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Low Wealth School Districts Get Little Help in New State Funding Formula
Posted on: 02/08/2013
By  Mike Cullums
 
An analysis by The Columbus Dispatch shows that if Governor John Kasich’s new school-funding plan is implemented as proposed, the majority of school districts will receive no additional money through fiscal year 2015.
 
That's not what the governor told a meeting of school superintendents last week.
 
For example, the figures released by the governor’s office late Wednesday show that none of the four districts in Perry County – where the state school funding lawsuit began 22 years ago – will gain any additional dollars. 
 
Here in Washington County, only the two city school districts would receive more state funding.
 
Belpre would see a 25 percent in fiscal year 2014 with an additional 6 percent the following year, for a total increase of $752,000. Marietta would get a 12 percent increase the first year and a less than one percent bump the next year, totaling $876,000. 
 
The county's four rural districts - Warren, Wolf Creek, Fort Frye and cash-strapped Frontier - are zeroed out for more state funding the next two fiscal years.
 
The Dispatch reports that a week ago, Wolf Creek Local Schools superintendent Bob Caldwell was among more than a dozen school superintendents praising Kasich’s education plan, as he outlined it to them; that Caldwell was so impressed after hearing the governor outline his plan that he agreed with the Kasich administration’s request to provide a public statement of support.
 
But yesterday, Caldwell told the Dispatch he feels duped by Kasich.
 
Caldwell said, “We got told all the right things, but he didn’t follow through. This is not what we were told.”
 
Kasich had told the superintendents last week, “This is not hard to figure out: If you are poor, you’re going to get more. If you are rich, you’re going to get less.”
 
But the figures released by Kasich’s office this week show that the majority of school districts, including many of the least wealthy, would get no additional funding over the next two years.
 
The largest proposed increase in state school funding is a 331 percent hike in the Olentangy school district in booming southern Delaware County. Other suburbs of Columbus and Cleveland, including Dublin, New Albany, Avon Lake and Maple Heights will get more state funding.
 
No school districts in twelve Appalachian counties - including Athens, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan or Noble - will receive any additional state funding under the Kasich proposal.
 
The proposed spending levels are searchable by county and district here.
 
 
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