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Member of Fair School Funding Workgroup Hopeful for Future of Plan

a photo of a school hallway
Karen Kasler
Statehouse News Bureau
More cases of COVID-19 among state lawmakers and the little time left this year for the legislature to take action could determine the fate of The Fair School Funding plan.

The school funding plan that passed in the Ohio House last week appears to be dead in the Senate, but one member of the group who proposed the legislation isn’t giving up hope.

House Bill 305, which introduced the Fair School Funding plan, passed overwhelmingly in the House, but an influx of COVID-19 cases in the General Assembly and a limited amount of time before this session ends means there may not be enough hearings to vote on the bill.

Akron Public Schools Chief Financial Officer Ryan Pendleton was part of the Fair School Funding Workgroup that introduced the bill. He doesn’t think this is the end of the plan.

“To have the monumental vote that occurred in the House last week and leading into our hearings in the Senate, that energy is going to remain, that continued progress is going to remain,” he said.

Pendleton is not giving up hope on the plan and is already looking to propose a new version next year.

Akron Public Schools CFO Ryan Pendleton

“The workgroup will remain part of it. I’m sure the bill sponsors, albeit the ones that are still in the general assembly and those who are out of the general assembly, will be advisors to us, I’m sure to continue to carry this torch,” he said.

Pendleton said the group has been invited to start participating in talks about new iterations of the bill as soon as January.

Abigail Bottar covers Akron, Canton, Kent and the surrounding areas for Ideastream Public Media.