Legislative Watch – November 6, 2020

Senate Introduces School Funding Legislation

This week, Senators Peggy Lehner (R-Kettering) and Vernon Sykes (D-Akron) introduced Senate Bill 376 companion legislation to House Bill 305, better known as The Fair School Funding Plan.  The plan represents more than two years of work by legislators, local school leaders, and education finance experts to craft meaningful alternatives to the current way in which Ohio funds its schools.

OEA believes Ohio’s current school funding formula is a patchwork of band aids that fails to provide adequate funding. It is neither functional nor driven by what constitutes a high-quality education. The Fair School Funding Plan seeks to base decision making on identifiable student needs and the actual cost of providing a high-quality education. The plan direct funds charter school and voucher students rather than the current district pass-through system. Additionally, the proposal ends the use of gain caps and reduce the number of districts that rely on a funding guarantee.

Due to the advocacy efforts of OEA and other education organizations, changes were made to previous versions of the House bill that would direct 70% of the increased money to the poorest types of school districts. The plan has a projected six-year phase-in and would provide more than $1.9 billion in state funding for K-12 education.

You may view the district-by-district simulations here and OEA’s press release here.