Superintendents across the state breathed a sigh of relief last week after Gov. John Kasich released his school funding plan.
Kasich told school administrators that his two-year school funding plan would not cut their current levels of state aid.
Kasich said that he was pleased with the response.
“I have been really pleased with the reaction of superintendents across the state,” Kasich said. “It’s been very positive.”
While no district would see any cuts under the plan, some districts would be set for some significant increases.
Olentangy Local Schools Superintendent Wade Lucas said his district is set to see the largest increase in the state under the proposal.
“We’re extremely optimistic and looking forward to how this shakes out,” Lucas said.
Lucas said that the district is slated to receive $4.4 million in fiscal year 2013. That will jump to roughly $19 million in fiscal year 2014 under the proposal. That’s a 331.6 percent jump.
Parent Usha Sreedhar, who has two daughters in the district, said she believes it is about time that her district received additional funding.
“We’ve been passing all the levies and paying for more taxes, so it would be great to get more funding,” Sreedhar said. “We totally deserve more funding. This is one of the fastest growing school districts in Ohio.”
Other districts were not quite as fortunate as Olentangy.
Bexley, Reynoldsburg, Upper Arlington, Big Walnut and Granville would see no additional funding in fiscal year 2014.
Those central Ohio districts would be just a handful of the 368 school districts to be shut out of additional money over the two-year plan.
Kasich’s assistant policy director for education declined an on-camera interview with 10TV news but offered the following written statement:
“Those districts, often in the suburbs, that have seen massive student population growth in recent years also see corresponding funding increases, since dollars follow the child,” Barbara Mattei-Smith said. “On the other hand, districts that have seen shrinking student populations would have seen potentially destabilizing funding cuts without the governor’s insistence on guaranteeing them as least as much money as they received last year.”
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