Kasich’s school funding plan could use some work

Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s education budget, dubbed as his “Achievement Everywhere” plan, will do very little for the majority of Ohio school districts and will benefit only three of Columbiana County’s 11 public school districts.

Kasich’s plan was supposed to overhaul the way schools are funded by funneling more money to poor districts to level the playing field for the state’s nearly 2 million schoolchildren. This is the governor’s attempt at equalizing the way Ohio schools are funded. The Ohio Supreme Court has declared the state’s school funding plan unconstitutional four times since 1997.

Based on figures compiled in an analysis by the Columbus Dispatch, only three county schools – Columbiana, Wellsville and Salem – would experience a state funding increase in the new plan.

Columbiana would see its state funding increase by $52,576 to $1.96 million in 2014 under the governor’s plan, with no increase in 2015. Wellsville’s state funding would increase by $240,849 to $5.95 million in 2015.

Salem would be the biggest beneficiary, with its share of state funding increasing by $1.19 million over the next two years, to $7.55 million.

Of the three county schools, only Salem and Wellsville’s new funding allocation would make up for the cuts the schools experienced under the current state budget.

Salem was cut $1.1 million but will receive $1.19 million. Wellsville was cut $156,875 and is scheduled to receive $240,849. In Columbiana’s case, the $52,576 increase is not nearly enough to make up for the $509,981 loss in state funding.

If only three Columbiana County schools are scheduled to benefit and 60 percent of the 612 state school districts will receive no funding increases, it appears that the plan still needs some work if it is truly an attempt to level the playing field among school districts.