Legislative Watch – February 5, 2021

DeWine Unveils Executive Budget Proposal

On Monday, February 1, 2021, Governor DeWine released his second Executive Budget Blue Book detailing his plans for the state budget for Fiscal Years (FY) 2022 and 2023. The administration’s main focus is utilizing $1 billion in one-time funds for the “Investing in Ohio Initiative” that would provide $250 million to enhance broadband access and support small businesses and other businesses impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. Also, of note, the governor does not tap into the $2.7 billion Rainy Day Fund.

Below is a review of the governor’s proposal. Please note that there are few details at this point as the actual budget language has yet to be released. OEA is also waiting for the release of district-by-district spreadsheets. OEA Government Relations staff will share additional information as it becomes available.

K-12 Education

School Funding

DeWine’s budget proposal continues to fund the Student Wellness and Success Funds which he created in his last budget. This proposal provides an additional $100 million in each fiscal year for a total of $1.1 billion over the biennium for districts to support students by providing mental health counseling, wraparound services, mentoring, and other supports to address student needs. These funds will continue to be provided to school districts outside of the school funding formula. The funding formula is frozen at current levels.

What is noticeably absent from his budget proposal is a plan to address the state’s unconstitutional school funding formula. OEA will continue to encourage state lawmakers to include the Fair School Funding Plan which received overwhelming bi-partisan support in the House at the end of the last session and represents years of work and compromise to finally deliver an equitable and constitutional funding system.

Additional Provisions

  • The proposal eliminates the $20 million school bus purchase program that was established in FY 2021. 
  • The budget provides $20.5 million in each fiscal year (a 412% increase from FY 21) to support over 70,000 high school students to earn industry-recognized credentials and support the Innovative Workforce Incentive Program.
  • The proposal increases the income-based EdChoice voucher fund by 8.4% ($7.1 million) for an appropriation of $92 million per year. 
  • The budget transfers the Quality Community Support funding from the Lottery Profits Fund to the General Revenue Fund and appropriates $54 million in each fiscal year (an 80% increase over FY 21 levels). This fund was created in the last budget to provide additional per-pupil funding for the highest performing charter schools.
Higher Education (HE)
 

State Share of Instruction
 
FY 2022 – $2.056 billion – 1.0% increase
FY 2023 – $2.075 billion – 0.95% increase
 
Ohio College Opportunity Grant
 
FY 2022 – $102.7 million – 0.9% increase
FY 2023 – $108.5 million – 5.6% increase
 
Central State Supplement
 
FY 2022 – $11.1million – 1.2% decrease
FY 2023 – $11.2 million – flat funded at FY 2021 level
 
Shawnee State Supplement
 
FY 2022 – $4.6 million – 14.8% increase
FY 2023 – $5.4 million – 16.7% increase
 
GRF Total HE (State Funding)
 
FY 2022 – $2.738 billion – 6.0% increase
FY 2023 – $2.743 billion – 0.2% increase
 
All Funds HE
 
FY 2022 – $2.799 billion – 5.1% decrease
FY 2023 – $2.788 billion – 0.4% decrease

Developmental Disabilities (DD)
 

Medicaid Services
 
FY 2022 – $637.0 million – 11.5% increase
FY 2023 – $707.0 million – 11.0% increase
*According to the Blue Book the increased appropriations in this line item for FYs 2022 and 2023 is primarily attributable to the receipt of an enhanced federal medical assistance percentage (eFMAP) associated with the COVID-19 public health emergency. This additional federal reimbursement artificially reduced GRF Medicaid Services spending as additional costs were shifted to federal funding sources. The elimination of this additional revenue skews year-over-growth as expenditures shift back to the GRF.
 

Employment First Initiative
 
FY 2022 – $2.7 million – 17.4% increase
FY 2023 – $2.7 million – flat funded at FY 2022 level
 
GRF Total DD (State Funding)
 
FY 2022 – $702.8 million – 12.5% increase
FY 2023 – $773.4 million – 10.1% increase
 
All Funds DD
 
FY 2022 – $3. billion – 5.2% increase
FY 2023 – $3.69 billion – 3.9% increase

SCOPE

Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (DRC)
 

Institution Education Services
 
FY 2022 – $34.9 million – 2.9% increase
FY 2023 – $35.7 million – 2.2% increase
 
Education Services
 
FY 2022 – $4.6 million – 0% increase
FY 2023 – $4.6 million – 0% increase
 
Prisoner Programs
 
FY 2022 – $400k – 0% increase
FY 2023 – $400k – 0% increase
 
GRF Total (State Funding)
 
FY 2022 – $1.95 billion – 3.8% increase
FY 2023 – $2.02 billion – 3.8% increase
 
All Funds DRC
 
FY 2022 – $2.04 billion – 0.4% increase
FY 2023 – $2.1 billion – 2.7% increase

Department of Youth Services (DYS)
 

RECLAIM Ohio
 
FY 2022 – $166 million – 4.4% increase
FY 2023 – $168 million – 1.4% increase
 
Education Services
 
FY 2022 – $2.9 million – 10% decrease
FY 2023 – $2.5 million – 14% decrease
 
Education
 
FY 2022 – $974k – 5.3% increase 
FY 2023 – $987k – 1.3% increase
 
Vocational Services
 
FY 2022 – $1.5 million – 5.2% increase
FY 2023 – $1.4 million – 7.9% decrease
 
GRF Total DYS (State Funding)
 
FY 2022 – $222.9 million – 4.0% increase
FY 2023 – $228.4 million – 2.5% increase
 
All Funds DYS
 
FY 2022 – $237.3 million – 3.3% increase
FY 2023 – $242.2 million – 2.1% increase

State School for the Blind
 

GRF Total (State Funding)
 
FY 2022 – $12.6 million – 4.0% increase
FY 2023 – $12.8 million – 1.6% increase
 
All Funds
 
FY 2022 – $14.3 million – 0.4% increase
FY 2023 – $14.5 million – 1.4% increase
 

Ohio School for the Deaf
 

GRF Total (State Funding)
 
FY 2022 – $13.9 million – 6.5% increase
FY 2023 – $14.2 million – 1.6% increase
 
All Funds
 
FY 2022 – $14.9 million – 3.1% increase
FY 2023 – $15.1 million – 1.5% increase
 

State Library
 

GRF Total (State Funding)
 
FY 2022 – $5.1 million – 5.1% increase
FY 2023 – $5.1 million – 0% increase
 
All Funds 
 
FY 2022 – $21.7 million – 3.4% decrease
FY 2023 – $21.7 million – 0% increase
 

Ohio House Reintroduces Fair School Funding Plan

The Ohio House of Representative reintroduced the Fair School Funding Plan as House Bill 1.  The Fair School Funding Plan (FSFP), which was passed with overwhelming bi-partisan support in the Ohio House during the last legislative session, would enact a student-centered school funding formula that is equitable, adequate, predictable, and that ensures that all students have the resources to succeed regardless of where they live or their family’s income. The FSFP would provide an additional $1.99 billion in state aid when fully phased in and provides about 70% of the increased funds to the poorest urban, small town, and rural districts in the state. Importantly, it would finally fix the state’s broken funding system, which was ruled unconstitutional decades ago by the Ohio Supreme Court in 1997’s landmark DeRolph v. State of Ohio ruling.

Following testimony from the non-partisan Ohio Legislative Service Commission (LSC) estimating nearly a billion dollars more in tax revenue over the next biennium than Governor Mike DeWine’s executive spending plan budgeted for, OEA is calling on the General Assembly to take up and approve the Fair School Funding Plan immediately.

SB 1: Requires Half Unit of Financial Literacy for High School Graduation

SB 1 received first hearing proponent testimony this week in the Ohio Senate Education Committee.

SB 1 requires students who enter ninth grade for the first time on or after July 1, 2021, to complete at least one-half unit of instruction in financial literacy as part of the required high school curriculum (this is in addition to current law that requires the social studies curriculum to include financial literacy). High school graduation requires 20 credits. In order to help make space for a half unit of financial literacy requirement, the bill adjusts high school elective credits from 5 to 4.5.

Further, beginning with the 2023-2024 school year, a license validation in financial literacy is required to provide the half unit of instruction in financial literacy (this requirement does not apply to social studies teachers who teach financial literacy as part of the ongoing social studies curriculum). The State Board of Education must consult with an advisory committee of at least five classroom teachers prior to adopting any rules regarding the license validation for teaching a half credit course in financial literacy.

Each district or school is required to cover any costs necessary for an individual employed by a district or school to meet the additional requirements for the license validation, and permits a district or school to seek reimbursement of the license validation costs from the Ohio Department of Education.

HB 54: ADC Repeal Legislation from 133rd G.A. (HB 154) Reintroduced

Rep. Joe Miller (D-Amherst) and Rep. Al Cutrona (R-Canfield) are the bi-partisan joint sponsors of HB 54, legislation that would repeal the failed state takeover law and return local control to school districts in Youngstown, Lorain, and East Cleveland. HB 54 is the same legislation that passed the Ohio House of Representatives 83-12 in the last Ohio General Assembly (under bill number HB 154). The bi-partisan co-sponsors of HB 54 include House Majority Whip Don Jones (R-Freeport). OEA strongly supports HB 54.