School funding: How much state money Clark, Champaign school districts get

School districts in Clark and Champaign counties can expect to receive increases to their budgets over the next two years as part of Ohio’s budget for the next two years.

The budget includes most elements of the Fair School Funding Plan.

The plan is a bipartisan effort that calculated the cost of teachers, busing, special education and other school factors to determine a “base cost” to educate students. It also measures both property and income wealth in each community, plus enrollment numbers, and uses all that data to calculate state and local funding shares for each school district.

State funding is projected to increase for all 12 Clark and Champaign County districts in each of the next two years, but the gains will vary widely by district. In Year 1, the median increase is about $200,000, with nine of the 12 districts seeing bumps of $99,000 to $275,000. The second year is more varied, with schools like Mechanicsburg and Southeastern getting another $250,000-plus increase, while Northeastern and Graham’s hikes are only about $10,000.

Local money

Springfield City School District will get the biggest increase - $2.5 million for 2021-22 and another $1.26 million increase for 2022-23.

Legislative officials say Springfield will get millions more in state money for the next two school years. Springfield school officials said they’re still “seeking clarification” on the amounts from the Ohio Department of Education because they say House Bill 110, the state’s 2022 - 2023 operating budget that is now law, is a “rewrite to school funding as we know it.”

“The simulations provided make it difficult to pinpoint how FY22 will be calculated. It is equally as difficult to reconcile the amount reported as FY21 revenue as it has been adjusted for HB110 rules,” said Treasurer and CFO Nicole Cottrell. “We are working on a deeper understanding of what effect this will have on district funding and are seeking clarification from ODE.”

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The state budget gives the rest of the schools small increases over the next two years. The extra money will help local school districts, but for some, state funding is a comparatively small factor, with local property taxes more prominent.

Urbana City Schools will get an increase of over $300,000 for the next two years.

“Although we are grateful for any additional funds, the amounts included in the new state budget will not have a large impact on our total general fund budget of approximately $29 million,” Superintendent Charles Thiel said.

Urbana voters approved a 2014 bond issue to pay for new buildings, but Thiel said the last levy increasing day-to-day operations money was passed 13 years ago.

“Our last new operating levy was approved back in 2008 and we have continually looked at balancing our expenses since that time,” he said.

How the plan works

The Fair School Funding Plan was a three-year bipartisan effort that calculated the cost of teachers, busing, special education and other school factors to determine a “base cost” to educate students. It also measures both property and income wealth in each community and uses all that data to calculate state and local funding shares for each school district.

The plan drew broad praise for tackling one of the toughest issues in state government. Advocates of the plan say state funding for K-12 schools would rise by $2 billion over six years if the plan is fully phased-in. Some believe the cost would be higher.

The $675 million in student wellness and success funding that was introduced in the last budget cycle has been increased to $1.1 billion this cycle.

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ESSER funds

While schools work to make longer-term plans based on recurring state funding, they’re also figuring out how to incorporate significant one-time federal money.

All 12 public school districts in Clark and Champaign County had at least $1 million in COVID relief money (Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund) available, and the totals are much higher for Springfield, Tecumseh and Urbana.

Urbana has $5,768,762 of COVID relief money available. Thiel said one of the required expenditures of the ESSER funds is to address recovery of student learning loss due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“We are adding additional staffing, mostly intervention specialists, to provide additional support for our students. In addition, we are implementing instructional technology programs for students to gain and practice new academic skills,” he said.

“Some of the ESSER funds will be used, when possible, to cover general fund expenses. Since these are ‘one-time’ funds, we are also looking at ensuring that we limit adding programming which would require adding future expenditures... Finally, we do have some upgrades to the HVAC and security systems of some of our older facilities which will be done using these funds,” Thiel added.

State K-12 funding
School district2021-22 aidChange from 20-212022-23 aidChange from 21-22 Federal ESSER II, III funds
Clark County      
Clark-Shawnee$5,969,583 $256,648 $6,000,654 $31,071  $3,633,075
Greenon$5,093,883 $167,781 $5,156,903 $63,019  $2,521,572
Northeastern$12,425,884 $112,566 $12,439,398 $13,514  $3,198,060
Northwestern$7,469,756 $99,754 $7,521,573 $51,817  $2,672,369
Southeastern$4,448,718 $229,108 $4,718,582 $269,865  $1,350,149
Springfield$70,151,285 $2,520,972 $71,418,232 $1,266,947  $44,263,160
Tecumseh$20,948,679 $219,634 $20,973,279 $24,600  $7,758,395
       
Champaign County      
Graham$10,361,632 $45,646 $10,370,940 $9,308  $2,755,292
Mechanicsburg$5,920,948.00 $236,958 $6,212,857 $291,909  $1,078,031
Triad$5,469,724 $36,875 $5,572,418 $102,694  $1,540,064
Urbana$10,411,759 $117,791 $10,625,000 $213,241  $5,768,762
West Liberty-Salem$7,391,231 $275,139 $7,624,827 $233,596  $1,225,596
       
STATE TOTALS$166,063,082 $4,318,872 $168,634,663 $2,571,581  $77,764,525

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