As School Bells Ring, Mahoning Valley Districts Find Less Help From State
Area public schools negatively impacted by recent state budget

While teachers prepare classrooms and cafeteria workers plan lunches ahead of the start of the new school year next week, many area schools will welcome new students but have fewer resources to dedicate to their education due to Republican budget cuts. 

Ten of Mahoning County’s 14 school districts saw their state share of instruction either slashed or flat-funded by Republicans in the Ohio Legislature in the recently-enacted state budget. The state’s two-year spending plan leaves 60 percent of school districts across the state with almost $1 billion less in funding over the next two years compared to 2009.  

“With the majority of our school districts experiencing budget cuts, these public funds must be going someplace other than the Valley,” Boccieri said. “The Legislature chose winners and losers in the state budget, and unfortunately failing, for-profit charter schools will continue to receive a tremendous amount of hard-earned taxpayer dollars. Republicans in Columbus fail to understand that when they cut public school district funding, they undermine our future.” 

The recent state budget directed over $1 billion to for-profit charter schools, a high-water mark for a profit-making education network plagued by scandal and failed academic outcomes.  

Meanwhile, public schools will not only face leaner budgets this year, but will have to manage with fewer resources for school buses as well after the legislature slashed school transportation funds by 25 percent. 

“Fair funding for our schools must be a priority for the General Assembly. If we fail in this most basic function of state government, I believe the negative impacts will be generational,” Boccieri said. 

The Poland lawmaker hopes the Legislature will make adequate investments in public education should they consider budget fix legislation, or a mid-biennium review, later this year. 

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