School Groups Report Says Senate Funding Plan Uses Old Financial Data
Groups representing Ohio’s school boards, school administrators and school financial officials are raising serious concerns about the Senate’s version of the budget, which blew up the $1.8 billion school funding formula overhaul in the House budget.
Republican Senate leaders had said the House funding overhaul, which school groups supported, wasn’t financially accurate because it used 2018 teacher salary data. One estimate suggested it could cost more than $450 million more than the House estimates, if salary data were updated.
School funding expert Howard Fleeter analyzed the Senate’s proposal for the school groups. He said in his report that the Senate is using property values from 2014 to 2016, income data from 2013 and student enrollment counts and teacher salary data from 2019.
The report from @OHschoolboards, @oasbo and @BASA_Supt says: “By using data that is now three bienniums old, the Senate’s school funding proposal will create significant disruptions and likely be much more costly in the FY24-25 biennium" when that data is updated"— Karen Kasler (@karenkasler) June 14, 2021
“Updating that data after so long of not updating it, that's going to cause disruption in terms of what districts get, how much state aid, and I think it's going to significantly increase the costs down the road," Fleeter said.
Fleeter said in his report the Senate’s school funding plan for this budget is "essentially a recalculation of the FY '19 funding formula with a handful of changes".
The House wants a new formula based on 60% property taxes and 40% household income phased in over six years. It's very similar to the Cupp-Patterson plan that passed overwhelmingly last year, but died in the Senate. It was reintroduced as House Bill 1 this year, and then was folded into the House budget.
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