Governor Kasich did a complete snow job on the Ohio media when it came to K-12 education funding. For days, several media outlets reported that Kasich’s education cuts weren’t nearly as bad as feared in education. The “fear” was the expectation of 15% to 20% cuts.
This morning, the Columbus Dispatch actually reported that education might see slight increases. Kasich, during his press conference, actually claimed his budget “increases” funding for K-12 and college education.
Except Kasich’s own budget document proves him to be lying. Here’s the pages from Kasich’s budget dealing with the Ohio Department of Education from Kasich’s submitted “Blue Book” (Executive State Budget):
Yes, Kasich’s budget technically increases State’s share of funding for K-12 education from FY11, but that’s only because the State decreased its share because the federal stimulus allowed the State the flexibility to increase overall spending while allows the State to use its money elsewhere in a very challenging budget environment.
But Kasich’s budget doesn’t replace the stimulus money that isn’t in this budget. That’s $875 million in funding that is gone and not replaced in Kasich’s budget.
Kasich’s own budget shows that the TOTAL funding for education in the State budget is therefore decreasing education funding 11.5% from FY2011, followed by another 4.9% decrease in FY 2013 from FY2012. That’s over a 16% decrease in funding over two years. That’s $1.28 BILLION in less funding for K-12 education.
Kasich is increasing what is called foundational aid, but that increase is almost entirely taken up by… Kasich’s doubling of money for for-profit charter schools funding and vouchers. Kasich said he was doubling the number of school vouchers.
Kasich’s own budget shows that total education funding will end in his biennium budget below FY 2008 in actual dollars not just in inflation-adjusted real dollars.
Kasich’s budget zeros out funding for the line items of:
- School Improvements Initiatives
- STEM Initiatives
- Violence Prevention and School Safety
- Neglected and Delinquent Education
- Drug-Free Schools
- Gifted Education
Some of this is due to dismantling Strickland’s Evidence Based School Funding reforms… most of it is not, however. Kasich’s budget has yet to answer the question of how the State will determine how to allocate its funding to the school districts once Strickland’s formula no longer exists, either.
This is your education budget. As BudgetWatch as already noted, there are other cuts elsewhere in the budget in funding that school district receives.