Eight county schools receive state aid bump PDF Print E-mail
Written by MARIE THOMAS BAIRD Sentinel Education Editor   
Saturday, 29 June 2013 08:10
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All but two Wood County schools will see an increase of state aid in the next two years.
Increases range from zero percent to 6.25 percent from 2013-14 and from zero percent to 10.50 percent in 2014-15.
The budget numbers coming out of the Ohio Legislative Services Commission will not change before Monday, when Gov. John Kasich signs the next biennial budget bill, according to state Sen. Randy Gardner (R-Bowling Green).
Eastwood and Lakota are being shut out of an increase in state aid.
Eastwood received $6,038,481 this school year, which ends today, and is expected to see no increase in the next two years.
Superintendent Brent Welker said he was not surprised with the lack of more aid.
“The way I understand it, our per pupil valuation has been increasing because our overall district valuation has remained steady,” Welker said.
That combined with declining enrollment meant the district did not meet the criteria for more funding, he explained.
Welker is not concerned about the district’s financial health in the next two years.
“It’s very difficult to point out one thing” in computing aid numbers, said Barbara Shaner, associate executive director of the Ohio Association of School Business Officials.
OASBO represents school treasurers and business managers and works closely with the Ohio School Board Association and Buckeye Association of School Administrators.
The new funding formula heavily depends on the per pupil amount the state feels is necessary to educate students for basic needs then adds in the costs for special education, economically disadvantaged youth, and minorities.
There also is the district’s property wealth to figure in, she continued.
“If their property wealth per pupil is higher than other districts, that would make them more responsible for their local share,” Shaner stated.
That is the case at Eastwood.
The property wealth and the number of students “gets applied to other factors in the formula,” she added.
“It really does attempt to divide things as equally as possible taking into account the capacity of the local level,” Shaner said.
“We think that the one thing we’ll have to continually look at is the question of equity and whether that has been achieved with this formula,” she concluded.
According to Gardner’s office, the state aid packages were based on the number of students in each district, and whether that number went up or down; the three-year average of property valuations; the number of disadvantaged students served in the district; plus the other factors alluded to by Shaner.
Lakota will also see no change from fiscal year 2013 at $5,152,635.
Elmwood will get the next smallest increase. The district received $6,369,522 this year, and is estimated to get $6,490,868 next year, and $6,542,103 in 2014-15. That amounts to a 1.91 increase from this year to next year, and 0.79 percent in 2014-15.
Bowling Green, Lake, Perrysburg, Northwood and Rossford will see the most increase.
All four will have their aid increase by 6.25 percent from 2013-14 to another 10.50 percent in 2014-15, according to numbers supplied by Gardner’s office.
The break down for other county schools is:
• Bowling Green: $6,585,119 this school year that ends June 30. Estimated aid of $6,996,689 in 2013-14, and $7,731,341 for 2014-15. That’s an increase of 6.25 percent the first year and 10.50 percent the second year. Total aid increase is $1,146,222.
• Lake: $4,001,209 this year, $4,251,284 for 2013-14 and $4,697,669 for 2014-15. That’s an increase of 6.25 percent the first year and 10.50 percent the next. Total aid increase is $696,461.
• North Baltimore: $3,532,670 this year, $3,753,462 next year, and $3,941,027 in 2014-15. That’s and increase of 6.25 percent the first year and 5.00 percent the next. Total aid increase is $408,357.
• Northwood: $2,446,600 this year, $2,599,513 next year, and $2,872,462 for 2014-15. That’s a 6.25 percent increase in the first year and 10.50 percent in the second. Total aid increase is $425,862
• Otsego: $5,207,406 this year, $5,413,980 next year, and $5,515,950 in 2014-15. That’s an increase of 3.97 percent the first year, then 1.88 percent. Total aid increase is $308,544.
• Perrysburg: $7,976,236 this year, $8,474,751 next year, and $9,364,600 in 2014-15. That’s an increase of 6.25 percent the first year and 10.50 percent the second. Total aid increase is $1,388,364.
• Rossford: $1,897,487 this year, $2,016,080 next year, and $2,227,768 in 2014-15. That’s 6.25 percent in the first year and 10.50 percent in the second. Total aid increase is $330,281
Gardner also provided numbers for Penta Career Center.
The center received $13,215,135 this school year, and is estimated to receive $14,041,081 next year and $14,744,599 in 2014-15. That’s an increase of 6.25 percent the first year and 5.01 percent the second. Total aid increase is $1,529,545.
For Bowling Green, the estimated $1.14 million is additional money will go a long way.
“These numbers would help us quite a bit, coupled with employee compensation concessions and other reductions we’re instituting,” said district Treasurer Rhonda Melchi.
“We’re very grateful to Sen. Gardner’s work and know he played a tremendous part if these amounts that will be coming our way.”
In Bowling Green, the number of disadvantaged youth served has gone up while property valuations have declined, she said.

School funding formula facts
COLUMBUS - The new formula begins with a per-pupil funding amount meant to reflect the cost for the basic education needs of students. Each district will receive a portion of the per-pupil amount from the state for each of their students, and they will be responsible for a local share based on property wealth. If the income of the school district residents is relatively low, the local share calculation will factor this in, giving lower income districts a boost in the amount they receive.
The formula adds funds to the basic calculation for:
• Special needs students
• Money to help districts go above and beyond a "basic" education when they do not have the capacity to raise extra money locally for this purpose
• Funding for economically disadvantaged students
• Funds for Kindergarten through 3rd grade to help achieve literacy requirements by the 3rd grade
• Funds for students with Limited English Proficiency
• Funding for gifted students
• Funding for pupil transportation
While the formula utilizes caps on increases for individual districts during the upcoming budget period, the formula itself addresses the needs of students and districts that have been identified by a number of stakeholders. Over the long term, it will be possible to make adjustments as needed to address any unintended consequences that may be detected in the formula.
One discussion point that should be continued as the new formula is implemented is that of "equity" and whether or not all districts have achieved adequacy in their ability to offer quality education opportunities for their students. The various components of the new formula attempt to achieve equity, but it will be important to evaluate their effects over time to see if adjustments are needed for improvement. Some districts are starting out in this new formula at a much lower threshold than many of their counterparts.
Last Updated on Saturday, 29 June 2013 08:46
 

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