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Governor’s budget flatlines funding for area school districts

By Don Rutledge
FPS Associate Editor

School superintendents in the Carroll County area are very disappointed with Governor John Kasich’s proposed budget for school districts and joint vocational Schools.

Of the 612 school districts listed in Kasich’s Achievement Everywhere preliminary estimates for fiscal year 2014, only one school district in The Free Press Standard’s circulation area is due to receive additional funding – and that is minimal.

Receiving zero additional funding in next fiscal year are Carrollton Exempted Village School District, Brown Local at Malvern, Conotton Valley, Sandy Valley, Southern Local and Edison Local.

Minerva Local School District is to receive a 1.33% increase in fiscal year 2014 or an additional $110,070 over the $8,280,716 they will receive this fiscal year.

However, Minerva Local School Supt. Joe Chaddock says “we are proceeding cautiously as the state in the past has given funds in one area and taken funds away in another.

“Until the budget is approved in June, we will continue to live within our means’,” he added.
Carrollton Schools Supt. Dr. David Quattrochi says he is disappointed with the Governor’s proposed budget.

Carrollton Exempted Village School District will not receive any additional funding in fiscal year 2014 above the $9,972,753 earmarked for fiscal year 2013.

“However, the good news is that we are not losing any revenue. It is discouraging to see that so many wealthy suburban districts received substantial revenue with this budget,” Dr. Quattrochi pointed out.

“In my opinion, the budget is still broken. There is no equity or equality in the formula,” he added.

He plans to continue to monitor the spending and plans to speak at engagements regarding an emergency tax levy which will be on the May special election ballot.

“We will also continue to provide high quality programs for students at all levels. However, without additional revenue in the future, this will be hard to sustain over a long period of time” Dr. Quattrochi stated.

Brown Local School District will not get any additional state aid over their $2,454,102 designated for fiscal year 2013.

Conotton Valley Union Local School District is among those receiving no additional state help despite facing a deficit of approximately $314,000 in June of 2014.

Conotton Valley’s fiscal year 2013 state foundation money is listed at $1,975,913 – the same as for fiscal year 2014.

Superintendent Adam Pittis didn’t hide his disappointment.

 

See SCHOOL FUNDING, A-10
“Obviously, Conotton Valley is disappointed with the latest developments in the Governor’s plan to fund Ohio’s education.
“It is hard to think that this is not a political move on his part. We will not forget this in the future and we certainly will not forget the cuts implemented two years ago in his previous budget.  All small town, rural areas need to be reminded,” Pittis stated.
“Mr. Kasich told us one thing in January and the projections are quite the opposite. Hopefully, there is a mistake somewhere within them,” Pittis added.
“Although I was not anticipating an increase, my greatest concern now is how much more operating funding will we lose. I predict that his plan of the money follows the child will pigeon hole districts even more, making it very difficult to pay the daily operating expenses such as running buses, heating buildings and keeping the electricity on.

“ Like everything, we, Conotton Valley will adapt and overcome,” Pittis said.

Sandy Valley Local School District is among those not receiving any increases in fiscal year 2014. Their 2013 and 2014 state allocation is listed at $$6,965,521.

In response to the no increase in funding, Sandy Valley School Supt. David Janofa said:

“I was very optimistic about the initial reports of the governor’s  budget ideas. However, the math does not add up nor does his comments that the poorer districts would get some relief from his plan.

“Sandy Valley is certainly on the lower end of valuation per pupil in the state, the initial indications are that we would be flat lined under his current proposal.

“If you look at some of the districts in our area who would be receiving a significant increase is confusing at the least and perplexing at best.

“No where in the budget is there indication that educational funding would at minimum go back to where we were a few years ago,” Janofa said.

“We have seen significant reductions over the last few years and now are expected to remain at that funding level for the next two years. This is very challenging to our district,” he added.

Southern Local School District is also among those left out of additional funding.

According to the Governor’s preliminary estimates, Southern Local will receive $5,676,231 in fiscal year 2014 as in 2013.

In response to the governor’s proposed education funding plan, Southern Local School Supt. John Wilson said:

“Southern is poised to receive $0 dollars increase for the next two years. We are prepared to offer a quality education within the parameters of the funding guidelines.

“The silver lining in the matter is there won’t be any cuts to funding. There are still many questions to be answered with his proposed plan,” Wilson commented.

Edison Local Schools, which according to the state has a student enrollment of 2,021, is earmarked to receive no additional state funding other than the same amounts listed in fiscal year 2013 and fiscal year 2014 which is $6,813,325.

Commenting on the lack of more state money, Edison Local School Supt. Bill Beattie said:

“It is unfortunate that with the new school funding plan that the Edison Local School District is not receiving any additional funding.

“It is my understanding with the formula being used we don’t qualify for additional funding because we have a high valuation of property, which means we have the ability to tax.

“We also are on the state guarantee for funding and our enrollment is declining. Funds provided to districts have a low valuation of property, not on the guarantee, and have steady or increasing enrollment,” Beattie added.

Other Districts
Of the 612 school districts listed on the Governor’s proposed budget plan, 207 Ohio school districts will receive some type of additional funding ranging from a low of less than 1% to a high of 331.58% for the Olentangy Local School District in Delaware County.

Jackson Local Schools in Stark County is to receive a 25% increase or $981,154 in the prosed budget, raising their fiscal year 2013 state funding from $3,924,614 to $4,905,768 in fiscal year 2014.

JVS Funding
Of the 49 Joint Vocational School Districts listed in the Governor’s budget proposal, 28 will receive additional funding ranging from 2.6% to 25%.

Buckeye Career Center at New Philadelphia is due to receive an additional 19.4% or $854,728, boosting their fiscal year 2013 distribution from $4,405,956 to $5,260,684.

The Stark County Area Joint Vocational School District (R. G. Drage Career Center) is to receive a 25% increase of $633,802, increasing their fiscal year 2013 amount of $2,535,207 to $3,169,009.


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