Ohio Appalachian Collaborative Blog

It takes teamwork to make the dream work

What the new state budget means for OAC districts

by User Not Found | Jul 02, 2013

When Governor John Kasich signed House Bill 59 on June 30, it marked the end of another long state budget process filled with debate around a variety of issues, from Medicaid to exotic animals to school funding. Now begins to task of dissecting the more than 3,700-page bill to discover what’s in, what’s out, and how it might impact the future of our state. 

In particular, the new two-year state budget contains several key shifts in state education policy that will have an impact on Ohio school districts, including:   

  • A new funding formula, which increases per-pupil spending in each year of the biennium but caps district increases at 6.5 percent in FY 2014 and 10.5 percent in FY 2015. There is also a provision that guarantees districts will receive at least the same amount of aid in FY 2014 and FY 2015 as they did in FY 2013. While many OAC/TIF districts will see real funding increases, eight districts will be on the funding guarantee at some point during the next two years. 
  • Elimination of the state’s reimbursement on the first 12.5 percent of property taxes for all new and replacement levies beginning this year. The change effectively makes it more expensive for taxpayers to pass local levies and could make it more difficult for school districts to generate local revenue.
  • Creation of the Straight A Fund, which will provide $250 million in competitive grants over two years to support projects that advance student achievement, reduce spending, and utilize a greater share of resources in the classroom.

HB 59 also addresses expenditure accountability for school districts, funding for ESCs, transportation funding for low density rural school districts, and funding for students with special needs.

While all of these provisions impact Ohio school districts in some way, the impact felt by rural districts, particularly those in the OAC, can be different than in urban or suburban areas. We have put together a short summary of the budget bill and the most important items for OAC and Ohio TIF districts to be aware of. It can be found here.

Ohio’s professional education associations are working to provide more in-depth information about the budget bill to school district leaders in the coming weeks. Click here to find information about webinars and regional budget briefings from the Ohio School Boards Association (OSBA), the Ohio Association of School Business Officials (OASB), and the Buckeye Association of School Administrators (BASA).

Federal Budget Update

The Ohio Department of Education recently provided preliminary budget information regarding the impact of federal sequestration on Ohio school districts. This includes:

  • $2.4 billion in cuts for the U.S. Department of Education, primarily Title 1 and IDEA funds ($756M and $602M respectively).
    • $66 million in cuts for Ohio across 14 grants, resulting in a 5.2 percent reduction.
    • ODE has been able to reallocate unused Title I ($8 million) and IDEA ($11 million) funds to decrease the budget impact to school districts. 
    • Each LEA will have to determine the impact of these cuts on service provided by the 14 grants.
  • Race to the Top and TIF are not subject to reductions.

ODE has posted resources showing how programmatic reductions in the impacted areas will affect each school district.  This information will be updated regularly to reflect news and changes. See ODE’s website for details.

In the coming months, we will keep you informed of other important federal and state education policy news and look forward to continuing our work with OAC/TIF districts to accelerate college- and career-readiness for all of the students we serve.  If you have any questions, please contact Brad Mitchell at bmitchell@BattelleforKids.org or Tracy Najera at tnajera@BattelleforKids.org