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Krupinski is 'Optimistic' about Kasich's School Funding Plan

Strongsville superintendent likes most of what governor said

 

Superintendent John Krupinski said he was pleased with much of Gov. John Kasich's school funding plan, although the impact on Strongsville won't be known until figures are released next week.

"He (Kasich) did quell the fear that for districts like ours, that are property-rich, there would be no additional (funding) cuts," Krupinski said. "That was huge."

Districts won't find out until the state budget is released next week exactly how state funds will be distributed.

"I'm cautiously optimistic it's going to be a positive impact," Krupinski said.

The plan includes $1.2 billion in new money for schools during the next two years. 

Kasich said the additional money is possible because the state has cut costs in other areas and brought in new jobs.

Ohio’s school funding formula, which is based on property taxes, was repeatedly ruled unconstitutional by the state Supreme Court. Former Gov. Ted Strickland proposed a plan to address this, as well, but it was not fully funded when passed.

Kasich’s plan would create a base funding level for all but the wealthiest districts, based on a per-student property tax base. 

That could mean districts would get more money to educate students with special education needs, English language learners and children whose families live in poverty. 

The proposal also includes plans for a grant program, the “Straight A Fund,” designed to encourage districts to try new approaches to increase student achievement and lessen costs.

The proposal also mentions that some mandates could be waived at the district level, but does not clarify which mandates that would be.

Krupinski said it is "commendable" that the plan attempts to equalize revenue among district without taking money away from communities with higher property values, and that the proposal is "investing in students' success."

Strongsville schools made millions of dollars in cuts over the last few years to balance the budget and officials have worried that Ohio will continue to decrease funds to the district.

Kasich's plan came as a relief to many school officials.

"Some form of stability for awhile would be a good thing," Krupinski said.

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