More than a quarter of Ohio school districts will likely receive less money from the state this school year than they did last school year, according to calculations by The Plain Dealer and estimates from the legislature.
Republican legislators promised that no district would have a decrease in state aid under the new state budget they passed this summer, but that doesn’t hold up once you account for increases in the amount of money flowing out of school districts to charter schools under the new plan.
Estimates for how much the state would deduct from districts for students attending charter schools were not available when the budget passed June 29 or before Gov. John Kasich signed it a day later. The Legislative Service Commission, the legislature’s research arm, released estimates only recently.
The most dramatic case is in the Cleveland school district, which has no aid increase from the 2012-13 school year to the current school but much higher deductions for charter students. The district will end up with $3 million to $4.5 million less for its students.
East Cleveland would also be down $170,000 or $1.7 million, because of charter deductions. Warrensville Heights schools would be down about $60,000. Even the well-off Upper Arlington school district would receive about $400,000 less after charter school deductions.
Those losses aren’t a surprise. Observers predicted that many districts would see losses after charter school deductions when the new budget was passed.
The LSC projections and some other calculations by The Plain Dealer show:
* Charter schools will receive nearly $27 million more this school year than in 2011-12, under the new budget formula.
* When projected charter deductions are subtracted from projected state aid in this ongoing 2013-14 school year, 190 districts end up with less money than they had this past school year after charter deductions.
Democratic legislators are quick to note that increases in basic aid to districts this budget do not make up for cuts Gov. Kasich made in aid and reimbursements to districts in his first two-year budget.
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