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House Moves Away From Governor’s School Funding Plan

Wednesday, April 10, 2013 at 6:25 AM

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The Republicans in the legislature dealt several blows to Governor Kasich yesterday, including major revisions in his school funding formula. StateImpact Ohio's Ida Lieszkovszky has this report on what those changes could mean for Ohio's schools.

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. And there was also 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. 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.

Ron Amstutz is the chair of the House Finance Committee.

Amstutz: “We think we have something pretty close to a workable, sustainable, defensible long term solution here.”

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.

So are superintendents happy again?

Fleeter: “It’s a case of short run, long run.”

Howard Fleeter is an economist with the Education Tax Policy Institute, which studies how tax changes affect school funding.

Fleeter: “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. I think that this type of approach works out better in the long run.”

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

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

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.

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Education, Government/Politics

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