If Gov. John Kasich’s budget proposal goes forward, the Avon and Avon Lake schools would see their funding more than double during the next two years.
The governor revealed his school funding reform plan last week, promising that no districts would lose money in the next two years under his proposal. The proposal aims to close the gap between high- and low-income districts and, Kasich said, it would be fully funded from the start. The state supreme court has repeatedly found Ohio's school funding system to be unconstitutional. A plan proposed by former Gov. Ted Strickland also aimed to address this, but was not fully funded when passed.
According to figures released by the state’s Office of Budget and Management, the Avon Lake City Schools would receive an estimated $2,515,895 in fiscal year 2014—almost 85 percent more than the $1,360,168 it is receiving in fiscal year 2013. The district would receive an estimated $3,144,869 in fiscal year 2015, another 25 percent increase. The fiscal year 2013 figure does not include transportation funds or funds related to career technical education, the state's information notes.
Avon Lake Superintendent Bob Scott said the proposed budget looks good for the district, especially when administrators were just hoping to maintain funding.
“We’re being very cautious right now,” he said.
There are still a lot of questions about how the money would be able to be used—Scott said he wanted to know if the money could be used to supplement some salaries and avoid layoffs—and the district hasn’t seen the formula behind the figures yet.
Still, the increase wouldn’t make that big of a difference in the district’s budget, Scott said.
“Eighty-four percent of very little is very little,” he said.
And he added that the state budget wouldn’t lessen the district’s need for a levy, since the schools have already been making cuts.
The Avon Local School District would receive an even bigger boost—an estimated $4,938,162 in fiscal year 2014, about 99.5 percent more than the $2,475,913 it is receiving in fiscal year 2013, and an estimated $6,170,972 in fiscal year 2015. That's close to another 25 percent increase.
Superintendent Mike Laub could not be reached as of publication.