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Critics Question Formula For Increased School Funding

Jun 23, 2015

There will likely be a funding increase for K-12 public education in the next state budget, since lawmakers scrapped Goveror John Kasich’s proposal that would have resulted in less money for half the state’s more than 600 school districts.

Critics are watching carefully.  Ohio Public Radio's Karen Kasler Reports.

Both the House and Senate budgets ensure that no district will get less money in the next two years than they got this year. Republican Sen. Chris Widener says Senators put a lot more money into public schools: “We plan to invest $935 million new dollars over the biennium.”

But the liberal leaning think tank Innovation Ohio says too much funding is based on graduation rates, third grade reading guarantees and other outcomes. IO’s Steven Dyer has a simple solution – come up with a total tab on the cost of education a student. “And then finally, once and for all, commit to funding it fully, completely and adequately,” Dyer said.

The Senate says its budget drives more money to low-wealth, low capacity district, but Dyer says the Senate plan sends more money to wealthier districts and reduces House K-12 spending by nearly $65 million.