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Ohio Education Association Anticipating Release of Full Budget Details, Urges State Lawmakers to Ensure Education Funding is Top Priority

[February 1, 2021] Following the release of Governor Mike DeWine’s executive budget “blue book,” which laid out his basic spending priorities for the next two years, the Ohio Education Association (OEA) will be keeping a close eye on the details of the budget plan and the district-by-district breakdowns of the budget numbers when they become available.

“The devil is always in the details,” said OEA President Scott DiMauro. “Education spending must be a top priority in Ohio to ensure our students, educators, and communities receive the resources they need to succeed. OEA will closely examine the full budget proposal as soon as possible and will continue advocating tirelessly for Ohio’s 1.7 million public school kids.”

Based on the initial, high-level budget document released by the governor on Monday, OEA is encouraged to see an emphasis on expanding broadband access to help close the digital divide for students and on wraparound services like mental health programs in schools. However, OEA is deeply disappointed in the governor’s refusal to draw on the $2.7 billion rainy day fund or to address the state’s unconstitutional school funding formula in his budget plan.

“The Fair School Funding Plan, which received overwhelming bi-partisan support in the House at the end of the last term, represented years of work and compromise to finally deliver an equitable and constitutional funding system. DeWine punted, rather than delivering on the promise of that legislation,” DiMauro said. “The governor’s budget looks like it will fall far short of what this moment in history requires, especially for students in high-poverty or high-minority school districts.”

“The funding increase the Fair Funding plan calls for is more than affordable, since the state is projecting a $1.3 billion revenue increase over the next two years alone and the plan calls for a $1.9 billion increase over 6 years,” DiMauro added. “We look forward to working with the legislature on addressing this with the Fair School Funding plan in the current legislative session, as well as tackling all of the work that needs done in the coming months as the budget debates continue.”

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