APS CFO Addresses State Leaders

Lawmakers Hear Reality of Funding
Posted on 11/08/2019
Image of Treasurer Ryan Pendleton(from WSYX Television, Columbus)

School superintendents in Ohio testified before state lawmakers Thursday to try to help pass a new state funding formula for education.

Right now, members of the House of Representatives Finance Committee are trying to agree on a base cost to spend for one student's education. This comes after many say the previous number of $6,020 per year didn't work. Once a base number is created, the bill calls for additional funds for other criteria like economically disadvantaged kids and transportation.

"The base cost that we currently have is failing," said A.J. Calderone, superintendent of Labrae Local Schools. "Are we going to keep doing the same thing and expect the same results? I don't think Ohio can afford to do that."

However, some lawmakers said they want to make sure new state dollars will go directly to the kids.

"Are we funding runaway salaries of district superintendents and treasurers?" Akron Public Schools Treasurer asked and answered before the Finance Committee. "No."

He said the new funding bill lists ranges for certain positions in which state funds can be used. For superintendent, that range is $80,000 to $160,000.

Some districts are currently capped in the state funds they receive which means they're not getting their full amounts calculated. This is hurting growing districts like Perrysburg Schools in northwest Ohio. The superintendent there told lawmakers that he's had to go to voters to ask for more money seven times within the last 13 years.

This week, half of the school levies passed that would generate new money for school districts in Ohio.
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