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Reporting on the state of education in your community and across the country.

Ohio Offers Performance-based Bonus Education Money

Richard Ross, Ohio Superintendent of Public Instruction

The $10 billion state budget worked out by the Ohio legislature two weeks ago puts more money into education than Gov. John Kasich’s spending plan.And, for the first time, the education plan includes a funding bonus based on school performance.The governor’s proposal to provide more money for poor districts and less money for rich districts was eliminated by the legislative conference committee.The spending document also includes an award for performance.

Under the plan, schools whose students do well with third grade reading tests or high school graduation rates can receive the extra money, up to $450 a student.State Superintendent Richard Ross said the bonus idea was added by the Senate.“I kinda like that," he said. "I think for the first concrete time there’s going to be funding that’s tied to a performance measure of reading and graduation.  Graduation rate, I thought that’s a worthy thing.”Ohio Department of Education officials acknowledge that is likely to mean affluent suburban districts will be the ones collecting the money.But that didn’t bother Ross, who said it’s still possible that low-income urban districts could qualify.“We have to get into the mindset that it’s results that we are looking for and we have to have higher expectations for our students," he said. "And we have to be willing to reward the districts and schools and teachers that actually get it accomplished.”Charter schools can also receive another new performance-based bonus.The top rated community schools are eligible for part of a new $25 million matching grant for school facilities.