Last week Ohio Governor John Kasich proposed a school-funding overhaul that is know as “Achievement Everywhere”, part of Kasich’s FY 2014-15 budget proposal.
While many of the details of the plan are to be revealed later this week, and the plan will need to be approved by the legislature, the stated aims are to boost poorer districts and promote performance. According to Kasich’s office, no district will receive less in state aid next year than it did in the current 2013 fiscal year.
The program seeks to take on Ohio’s persistent education disparities. In 1997, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled Ohio's school funding system unconstitutional due to the inequalities in funding between poor and wealthy districts, and directed the legislature to overhaul the funding system. Ohio’s governors and legislators have been working to correct the disparities since that time.
According to Dan Parent, superintendent of Danbury Schools, “96 percent of schools will benefit. Unfortunately, Danbury is one of the 4% that will not. We won’t lose, but we won’t gain.” Parent is waiting for more details to be revealed. “The devil is in the details, so we are waiting for them to come out later this week.”
Pat Adkins, Port Clinton superintendent, had the opportunity to attend Kasich’s “Achievement Everywhere” launch. “I was encouraged,” said Adkins. He echoed Parent’s comments, saying that “Port Clinton and Danbury are perceived to be wealthier districts, so we often don’t get the benefits others do. Lots of details will be coming this week. I reserve judgment until I see the details.”
Guy Parmigian, Benton-Carroll-Salem superintendent, was also at Kasich’s event in Columbus, and “was lucky to be able to ask him (Kasich) a question during the Q and A.” Parmigian was pleased that the governor was asking for feedback and questions from the superintendents. He is “cautiously optimistic” about the plan.
This week there is to be a simulation available that will show the individual impact on all districts. Parmigian said, “I want to see the details, and also how the legislature will respond. We don’t yet know all the pieces of the puzzle, but I feel a little better overall about our situation at BCS.”