Ohio's governor is proposing a school-funding overhaul he said will help poor districts compete more evenly while introducing changes to promote innovation and performance.
The plan unveiled by Republican John Kasich Thursday is focused on giving all students the resources to succeed. Kasich's funding plan would boost districts that are lagging in property values and household incomes.
School superintendents let a collective sigh of relief.
As Ohio's economy has improved, so have the budget numbers for education.
Basic funding for schools will increase six percent this year and 3.2 percent in 2014.
The governor said "none" of Ohio's 613 school districts will get less money this year from last.
"We anticipated losing some of those dollars; it's in the budget now, so that in itself will help us. As long as it's not taken out somewhere else, it's definitively a win for districts that thought there would be decreases," said David Axner, Dublin City Superintendent.
“It’s absolutely good news,” says Steve Dackin, Reynoldsburg City Schools Superintendent. “Most importantly for me is the access to additional funding to create innovation and create the reforms we really need in education.”
Kasich also proposed a $300 million “Straight A” fund which would allow school districts to compete for one-time grants. The fund would reward districts for efficiency and advances.
This is National School Choice Week, and his plan expands vouchers.
The plan also offers help for extra costs of special-needs students, and to provide more school choice.
The long-awaited plan is expected to kick off months of debate over Ohio's education direction.
Kasich is the fourth governor since 1997 to create a school funding formula. He scrapped the evidence-based model created by his predecessor Ted Strickland.
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