Some School Leaders Waiting For More Details On School Funding Plan

By
Atish Baidya

Dateline
Updated Fri, Feb 1, 2013 1:28 pm

One local school district superintendent in Southeast Ohio says he's waiting to hear more details about Governor John Kasich's plan to overhaul the state's school funding model.

Federal Hocking Local Schools superintendent George Wood said the devil is in the details.

“Our school district is currently at 20 mills and our average property value is at $103,000 so it would be interesting to see how that changes in the formula results in student funding, “Wood said. “We dont' know that yet, so I'd like to see that.”

Wood authored former Governor Ted Strickland K-12 Education Transition Paper.  He said he hopes the plan creates a statewide system of funding that is fair.

Kasich's plan "Achievement Everywhere" aims at equalizing funding for districts of economic difference across the state. It also rewards districts for efficiency and innovation.

“What I've heard the governor say though, that I think is correct, if he means it, is that the state can ask us for results because they do provide us with a significant amount of funding but they shouldn't tell us how to get those results,” Wood said. “So if they would be looser on means and tighter on ends I'm fine with that.”

The plan is drawing initial praise from some groups like StudentsFirstOhio, which is part of a national bipartisan organization seeking change in public education. The group Ohio eSchool Families and Friends Coalition approved of Kasich's plan to expand school vouchers and the support of charter schools.

Kasich is the fourth Ohio governor to attempt to address school funding since the Ohio Supreme Court ruled the funding system unconstitutional in 1997.  Kasich said his plan is fully funded and consititutional.  

Under two-year funding plan, no districts would receive less funding than they did this year.

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