school districts across Ohio received spreadsheets that provided the first glimpse of Gov. John Kasich's "Achievement Everywhere" proposed school funding plan.
A quick review of the spreadsheets indicates that the Twinsburg City School District is to expect an increase in state aid of 104 percent, totaling $2.8 million more in fiscal year 2014 than in 2013. Immediately following the release of these spreadsheets, as superintendent of the Twinsburg City School District, I received a number of calls and was asked my reaction to this "windfall" for our school district.
Although it appears that the district will benefit from the proposed plan, our review of the information gives us pause as we try to determine what exactly the numbers mean.
For example, the proposed plan excludes funding for transportation and career technical education. Funding for fiscal year 2013 for these categories had been approximately $1.15 million. Additionally, the district's fiscal year 2013 bridge report indicates that foundation funding totals $3.8 million; however, the number shown on the spreadsheet for fiscal year 2013 totals just $2.68 million.
Furthermore, the district's allocation for the funding guarantee, equaling $524,255, is not included in the proposed plan even though the governor assured districts that the guarantee would be maintained in this budget. These issues along with other questions will need to be addressed by the governor's office before I am confident that indeed we have a "windfall."
While an initial look at the proposed funding plan reveals some positive aspects such as continuing a hold on tangible personal property reductions, the details of the school foundation formula will require extensive review, both for the shorter term and for long-term planning.
In the meantime, we will work to gain an understanding of the governor's plan and its impact on the financial stability of the school district.
Kathy Powers, Twinsburg