State splits school funds PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sentinel-Tribune Staff   
Monday, 11 February 2013 12:32
Perrysburg_rotator
Ohio school districts see varied adjustments to their state funding allotments under Gov. John Kasich’s newly proposed formula, but no district sees a cut.
That’s according to district funding breakdowns released by the state Wednesday.
According to numbers available from the state, Bowling Green, Eastwood, Elmwood, North Baltimore, Otsego and Lakota school districts will not see an increase.
However, Rossford is looking at a 48 percent hike in state aid and both Lake and Perrysburg will see 25-percent increases, while Northwood’s goes up 15.21 percent.
“We’re not getting excited about this,” said Matt Feasel, district Treasurer for Perrysburg Schools.
His district has never forecast any increase from the state in its budget projections, and it won’t start now, he added.
There has been no information if there is a “string” attached to the money, such as unfunded mandates.
Also, Feasel said, the district already has lost $3.5 million from the state in the last four or five years.
The district is trying to replace a portion of that with the levy passed in November. 
With all the possible factors to cause the monetary increase to Perrysburg, Feasel thinks it might be the enrollment increase and drops in property values.
In the past three years, the district has added 300 students, with no extra state funding support. And, the district is still operating on a budget equal to three or four years ago, “and is doing more with it.”
The district’s valuation had decreased because of a drop in property values, 8 percent in 2012, he added.
“If they use those factors, valuation and student enrollment, that separates us from other districts,” Feasel stated.
He added he won’t celebrate until he learns whether there are restrictions attached to the funds.
Jeff Carpenter, treasurer at Lake Schools, agrees. “I don’t have it counted yet.”
He and Superintendent Jim Witt have not talked about the increase, but added that what the district is now getting in state aid is different from the $3.5 million posted by the state.
Lake in fact gets closer to $3.9 million in aid, he said.
“The numbers don’t match. I’m not even going to speculate how much of this increase we have.”
If the proposed amount comes through, however, it might be enough to reinstate all-day kindergarten which was dropped last spring.
“We have to play a wait and see” how the budget might be adjusted or rearranged
He thinks the increase may be because Lake lost 15 percent in district property valuation last year, but enrollment, unlike at Perrysburg, has stayed steady.
Estimated allotments for more than 600 districts across the state include adjustments to compensate for income variations, as well as add-ons for gifted education, special-needs students, English-language learners and other categories.
The formula gives a handful of small districts more than double the funding.
Locally, the amounts allocated for fiscal year 2014, which runs from July 1 of this year to June 30, 2014, include:
•    Bowling Green, staying the same at $5,836,225
•    Eastwood, staying the same at $5,637,566
•    Elmwood, unchanged at $6,102,769
•    North Baltimore: unchanged at $3,400,821
•    Otsego, unchanged at $4,796,266
•    Lakota, unchanged a $4,587,888
•    Rossford, up 48.44 percent, from $1,584252 to $2,351,552, up $767,410
•    Northwood, up 15.21 percent, from $2,303,419 to $2,653,698, for an increase of $350,279
•    Perrysburg, up 25 percent, from $6,958,491 to $8,698,113, for an increase of $1,739,622
•    Lake, up 25 percent, from $3,556,488 to $4,445,610, for an increase of $889,122
The documents indicate Columbus and Canton schools will see gains of about 14 percent in the fiscal year beginning July 1. Cincinnati schools get a boost of about 7 percent, while Akron’s funding rises about 3 percent. Funding levels remain unchanged for Cleveland and Toledo.
All districts statewide, with their funding projections for fiscal year 2014, can be found online at http://jobsbudget.ohio.gov/documents/Preliminary-District.pdf.
Last Updated on Monday, 11 February 2013 12:36
 

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