Ohio Governor John
Kasich unveiled his school funding overhaul plan Thursday. He's promising
superintendents no district will receive fewer dollars than it received the
last school year.
The state funding
formula for grades K-12 would increase nearly 6 percent in fiscal year 2014,
3.2 percent the next year.
"We have the money
for a couple of reasons," Kasich said. "One is because the state is rebounding.
The state is growing from one part of Ohio to the other. We've seen job growth,
120,000 new jobs."
Superintendent Mike Zalar said the Kasich formula will do much to promote and
strengthen Ohio education. Still he has some reservations.
"While it has a lot of
good, positive things, it doesn't get to the real heart of the problem as it
relates to school funding," Zalar said.
According to Zalar, that
would be too much reliance on property taxes to fund schools.
"It's always going
to be a shared partnership between the state and the local community," he said.
"We just have to continue to educate our community of the good things going on
in their schools."
One comment the governor
made that all superintendents were excited to hear:
"I want you to know
this program is fully funded. This is not something where we propose something,
[but] don't have the money."
The program will
increase funding for charter schools, and access to vouchers for students to
attend private schools. It will also help districts that are falling behind in
property values and household incomes.
"What the governor is
trying to do is…equalize school funding across the state," Zalar explained. "I
think the districts that are going to receive more money will be those that
have historically received less revenue."
Kasich's proposals was also a $300 million program allowing districts to apply
for grants to fund innovative ideas – called "The Straight A Fund."
will be up to members of the Ohio legislature to approve Kasich's education
funding overhaul as part of his upcoming 2-year budget.