Ohio Gov. John Kasich is calling his school-funding proposal an objective plan that applies equally to all districts based on their property tax wealth, residents' income and individual characteristics of students they serve.
Kasich said in Tuesday's State of the State speech that Ohio's poorest districts and urban districts get more money than the state's wealthiest districts.
Kasich said those districts also get more per-pupil funding before funding guarantees are factored in.
The governor said his plan provides a total of $1.2 billion in new money in 2014 and 2015, which means that by the end of the next two years Ohio will be providing students more in state aid than they received at the height of the 2011 federal stimulus plan.
Kasich also said that extending Medicaid coverage to thousands of low-income residents will help the state on multiple levels.
The Republican governor proposed Medicaid expansion under the federal law in his two-year budget plan. He's framed the decision as recapturing Ohio taxpayers' federal money.
The state would see $2.4 billion from Washington to cover those newly eligible for Medicaid over the next two years beginning in July
Many Republicans are averse to President Barack Obama's signature health care law and resistant to expanding government programs.
Kasich said in his State of the State speech Tuesday he knows the issue is controversial. But he says he's asking lawmakers to examine the issue carefully and examine their conscience.
He says the most vulnerable shouldn't be ignored, but lifted.
Kasich has presented his annual Governor's Courage Award to the sons of late astronaut Neil Armstrong, community members in Chardon, site of a school shooting a year ago, and a woman who has worked to break stereotypes about autism.
Kasich said the awards were created to highlight the extraordinary work of fellow Ohioans, work that deserves recognition but that can also serve as an inspiration for all.
Kasich said Neil Armstrong was a great man who was also one of the most humble persons you could meet.
He presented Armstrong's awards to the astronaut's sons Rick and Mark.
Kasich also honored Sondra Williams, director of the Autism Research Institute's Youth Division and teachers, students and residents in Chardon, where three students were killed last February.
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