The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

February 19, 2013

Kasich school plans fail to help districts

Buckeye, Grand Valley would receive a little more funding

(Continued)

Even if the funding holds firm, the boost represents no windfall for the district, Spiccia said. “Even with the increased funding, while helpful, it won’t solve the district’s problems,” he said.

Fiscal year 2014 and 2015 numbers contained in the Kasich proposal don’t change for these districts, according to cleveland.com: Ashtabula ($21,781,780); Conneaut ($10,840,890); Geneva ($10,881,678) and Jefferson ($7,142,609). Pymatuning Valley would receive nearly $5.9 million in fiscal year 2014 and an extra $100,442 in FY 2015, a 1.7 percent increase.

According to projections, Buckeye and Grand Valley would see increases — in varying degrees — in four categories: core opportunity aid, targeted resources, students with disabilities and English language learners.

Kent Houston, Conneaut superintendent, said he wondered if the “guaranteed” funding tag put on some districts somehow impacted the distribution. The guarantee is transitional aid that ensures each eligible district it won’t receive less funding than it did the preceding year.

“Being a guaranteed school, not everything the governor said may not come to fruition,” Houston said.

Rubesich was also upset with dramatic cuts to Educational Service Centers contained in the proposed numbers. Ashtabula County’s ESC would be sliced 84 percent, from $1.2 million to $245,000. Money once earmarked for ESCs, which provide a range of professional services and personnel to districts, would be channeled to districts, he said.

The proposal is disappointing because ESCs have been “touted as being the model for shared services,” Rubesich said.

School officials generally agree Kasich’s plan will undergo extensive remodeling by state lawmakers. “Fortunately for us, members of the General Assembly have the final say,” Rubesich said.

 

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