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Government/Politics

Conflict Could Be Coming Over How To Pay For Ohio School Funding Overhaul

The hallway of Westland High School in Columbus, before the pandemic
Karen Kasler
/
The hallway of Westland High School in Columbus, before the pandemic

State lawmakers are once again looking over a bipartisan school funding formula. It would calculate a district’s state money with a formula of 60% property tax values and 40% income tax. But this version of the overhaul includes what may be a problematic way to pay for it.

The previous funding formula overhaul was estimated to cost the state $2 billion on top of the more than $10 billion the state already spends on K-12 education.

Rep. Bride Rose Sweeney (D-Cleveland) said House Bill 1 proposes to come up with that money by sending leftover state funds to schools and not into the rainy-day fund or other programs.
 

Sweeney admitted that’s one-time money, but she said it’s a start.

“At some point we're going to have a dedicated revenue fund going to that, if we can kind of jumpstart that with these leftover monies, that could help. So House Bill 1 is not reliant on that. It just kind of help to get us to the next step," Sweeney said.

The school funding overhaul known as the Cupp-Patterson plan passed the House overwhelmingly in December. But it was dead on arrival in the Senate as the lame-duck session ended.
 

But there could be conflicts as other programs, such as Gov. Mike DeWine’s H2Ohio Lake Erie cleanup, also propose using leftover funds the same way as this school funding plan does.

 

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