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Education


So how will Ohio pay for Gov. Kasich's school funding overhaul?
The answer to that question is left will likely begin rolling out Monday
by WKSU's IDA LIESZKOVSZKY


Reporter
Ida Lieszkovszky
 
In The Region:
Governor John Kasich’s new plan to fund schools was greeted with a sigh of relief Thursday: it promises no cuts to schools, and instead plans to invest $1.2 billion dollars in education over the next two years. But now, as StateImpact Ohio’s Ida Lieszkovszky reports, school superintendents and education advocates are left with a lot of questions.
Kasich school plan

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In the last budget two years, schools saw a reduction of $1.6 billion in state funding.
That led to cuts in school services and a constant flow of levy issues on ballots statewide.
So superintendents were thrilled to hear Gov. Kasich say he’s going to invest in education, and what’s more, “I want you to know that this program is fully funded, this is not something that we propose and then we don’t have the money.”
Fully funded from the general fund and the Ohio Lottery.
Kasich’s plan includes $300 million in competitive grants, additional money for disabled and poor students and for English language learners. It also promises more money for charter schools and a new voucher program. 
And, perhaps most significantly, 96 percent of districts are eligible to get more state money because they have less local money due to low property values.
Kasich put it this way: “This is not like some difficult thing to figure out. If you’re poor, you’re going to get more. If you’re rich, you’re going to get less.”
Robert Stabile, an Ohio school-funding expert, says, “I didn’t think this would ever happen.”
“They’re seriously addressing the disparity in property tax wealth in the state.”
Stabile says the plan would finally address the long-standing problem with Ohio’s schools: That wealthy districts can raise a lot more from local property taxes than poor districts, And critics say, as a result, their schools are much better.
But Stabile has one caution: “I just hope to God they have all the money to do the things they hope to do. I hope to God they have the money.”
Exactly where all that money would come from should be revealed when Gov. Kasich announces his two-year budget proposal Monday.
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