Funding plan could aid area schools

Several school districts in Ohio may receive more money through Gov. John Kasich’s new school funding plan.

The plan, released this week, would increase funding to seven area schools if approved. Those districts are Fostoria, Hopewell-Loudon, Elmwood, Findlay, Bluffton, Carey, North Baltimore, Riverdale and Van Buren.

“The new funding amount could bring Fostoria $468,243. This new House version of the budget is actually a decrease of $560,953 from what was originally proposed by Gov. Kasich,” said Andrew Sprang, Fostoria City Schools superintendent.

According to The AP, Ohio House Republicans reworked the governor’s proposal because it was not received well when it was announced in February. The number of districts receiving no additional money decreased from about 400 to 175, and the cap from maximum funding increases went from 25 percent to 6 percent, with the new plan.

“If this occurs, it will help the programs that we are able to offer in our school district. However, as we have seen from the Kasich proposal to the House proposal that there is going to be a great deal of change. This is the first revision and the process still needs to be approved and the Senate has not had their opportunity to make changes,” he said.

“At this point, we reflect on the ever-present need to secure local funding through our ballot issue in May because of the uncertainty of state funding. That is why we are currently working on cutting at least $700,000 from our budget with the levy passing and, if it does not pass, we will be looking at even deeper budget cuts.” Sprang said.