Boccieri Expresses Concerns About School Funding Cuts For Valley Districts
Current state budget plan will cut funding for nearly half of all Ohio school districts
February 03, 2017
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State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) today criticized provisions in Gov. John Kasich’s biennial budget proposal projected to cause all but one school system in the Poland lawmaker’s district to lose funding over the next two years. According to spreadsheets released earlier today by the Ohio Office of Budget and Management, the new education funding formula is expected to cut critical funds to almost half of all school districts statewide. 

“This funding shuffle does nothing to help our state move forward on education,” said Boccieri. “Declining enrollment doesn’t mean that the cost associated with education suddenly evaporates. We must make certain that our schools, educators and, most importantly, students have the support they need to ensure every child is on track to receive a first-class education.” 

In Boccieri’s district, West Branch Local will by far experience the biggest funding cut, with a $550,201 projected decrease in final core aid between fiscal year (FY) 2017 and FY2018. Four of the 10 school districts the lawmaker represents – Jackson Milton Local, Poland Local, South Range Local and West Branch Local – will receive five percent funding cuts – the largest percentage allowed. 

Kasich’s budget plan mandates that no school see a larger cut than five percent, but that all schools losing more than five percent of their student enrollment see a reduction in funding. Aid is held at FY2017 levels if a school district’s level of student enrollment decline is zero or less than five percent. 

Boardman Local will actually see a five percent funding increase under the current plan, or $442,795 from FY2017 to FY2018. The budget limits the level of funding increase a school can receive under the formula to 7.5 percent. 

Although this year’s biennial budget seemingly spends $200 million more on education than the last budget, critics say cuts to special education, career tech and other areas totaling $227 million more than outweigh that gain.

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