News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Northeast Ohio Medical University

Wayside Furniture

Hospice of the Western Reserve


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Health and Medicine


Ohio lawmakers debate what to do with Medicaid expansion surplus
Lawmakers disagree about what to do with $400 million in surplus funds as a result of expanding Medicaid.
by WKSU's STATEHOUSE CORRESPONDENT JO INGLES


Reporter
Jo Ingles
 
Ohio Sen. Chris Widener rejects the claim that Ohio hasn't invested enough in schools, and says a tax cut is priority for extra Medicaid money.
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:
Ohio is expected to have a surplus of about $400 million as a result of expanding Medicaid. And state lawmakers disagree about what should be done with that money. As Ohio Public Radio’s Jo Ingles reports, some want another income tax cut while others think that money should go to local communities and schools.
LISTEN: Money for schools or tax cuts?

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (3:13)


If you talk to Dale Butland at the liberal leaning think tank, Innovation Ohio, he’ll tell you the state’s schools could do a lot with the $400 million projected revenue.

It's “more than six times what the state spends on K through 3 literacy, that is to say the third grade reading guarantee," Butland said. "In fact there are only four line items in the education budget on which we spend more than $400 million.”

So what could public schools do with $400 million?  Butland has a list.

“We could double what we are spending now on gifted education, career tech education, the third-grade reading guarantee," Butland says.
"We could double funding for busing around the state. We could double the amount of economically disadvantaged aid that we give. We could pay for all-day kindergarten or universal preschool in our most economically disadvantaged areas.

"We could triple the funding for the most profoundly challenged special needs kids that we have.  And even if we didn’t spend it on particular education programs and just distributed to the 613 school districts that we have, it would make an enormous difference.” 

Saving the taxpayers
Butland says it could be enough to keep schools from having to go back to local taxpayers for more money. He says local schools and communities are hurting. And he adds a plan that would give money to both has merit, especially in light of recent state funding cuts.

“This is all a giant shell game," Butland said.  "We claim we are cutting the state income tax when for regular people, they get virtually nothing out of it and whatever they get is more than wiped out in what they are paying for increased property taxes and local taxes.This is absurd.” 

But Republican Ohio Sen.Chris Widener, sponsor of the bill that would give the $400 million back to taxpayers in an income tax cut, says it is not a shell game.

“I looked at the election results from this November’s election and I don’t think the voters of Ohio immediately approve all of the levies that are put in front of them, whether it’s schools, MRDD or whatever local services they are asked to vote. That, in our opinion, is where the decisions ought to be made,” Widener said.

State is funding schools 
Widener also takes issue with the claim that schools are not getting enough money from the Legislature.

“We gave an additional billion dollars to local schools in the state of Ohio in the current budget and often times, groups like this want voters to forget about that. But we are not going to forget about that because basically all of the (extra money in the) budget that the Senate had by the time that it came from the House, we put it in schools.”

Widener says he thinks the priority should be to provide Ohioans with more tax relief. And by adding this $400 million break to the 10 percent tax break they are already getting, Widener says taxpayers will keep more over their hard- earned tax money.  

There’s yet another factor to consider here. The state is being sued over the Medicaid expansion itself. And if the Ohio Supreme Court puts the expansion on hold, the debate over how to spend projected Medicaid savings will be moot.

Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook




Stories with Recent Comments

Will Ohio's marijuana initiative follow casinos' lead?
We just ask to have marijuana legalized and here comes some nimrod trying to rob us of our rights and make us buy it from some legalized new type DRUG DEALER th...

Fancy dinners from humble beginnings at The Blue Door
Grandma of Chris Miller moved to Florida in a retirement community but I sure miss the Falls and the Blue Door, and the fine service and the true friendship of ...

The Black Keys guitar tech's moment in the spotlight
Nice job, Vivian. It's always nice to hear about the unsung heroes getting their due! Thank you, Chuck Johnston (Full disclosure - I'm a friend of the Carney fa...

A guide for gift-shopping for older Ohians
I'll never be to old for peanut brittle.

Akron's Tuba Christmas: A resounding blast of holiday spirit
Nice piece, Vivian! Looking forward to hearing you move from flute to tuba on Saturday. Love hearing your interviews and this seemed extra special since I kno...

Cleveland Hugo Boss workers are fighting for their jobs again
Bro. Ginard; I support your effert to keep your jobs, I understand all about concesions, I was a Union offical from 1965 until 1991 and the company th...

Asian Carp control could benefit from bill passed by House, heading to the Senate
help me fight the battle against invasive carp by method of harvest

Ohio's Portman supports lifting limits on party political money
If Portman was legitimately concerned about outside groups influence on elections he would have supported the DISCLOSE act. Instead he helped block it being bro...

Study shows trade with China has cost more than 3 million U.S. jobs
I disagree with James Dorn! If we don't change the playing field and make it a fair competition the whole US industry will be weaker and weaker. Eventually all ...

Copyright © 2014 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University