LIMA — State Rep. Robert Cupp (R-Lima) may be disappointed that his plan for a new school funding formula was not included in the final version of the state’s biennial budget Gov. Mike DeWine signed into law last month. But Cupp is still hopeful momentum exists to reform how the state distributes K-12 dollars.
He and fellow state Rep. John Patterson (D-Jefferson) unveiled the school funding overhaul this spring to create a more “fair” and “predictable” system.
The Cupp-Patterson plan would have determined the cost to educate a student on a district-by-district basis, rather than the statewide calculation the current formula relies on. It also suggested looking at resident income in addition to local property taxes when determining a district’s financial health.
“We’re disappointed it didn’t make it in,” Cupp told a gathering of local Republicans in Lima this past Friday. “But we’re not discouraged.”
But Cupp believes enough support exists to revisit the school funding formula.
“We hope to get that done and perhaps take effect the second year of the budget,” he said.
Instead of a new funding formula, the state’s biennial budget has earmarked education dollars for wrap-around student services like mental health care, homeless youth services and community liaisons, and has relaxed graduation requirements to focus less on standardized testing in favor of more flexibility for industry credentials or vocational skillsets.
“We know that these sorts of services do have a positive benefit on student achievement,” Cupp said.
But Cupp said he’d rather see those services funded by human services dollars, rather than drawing from funds intended for education.
Ohioans will see an income tax cut courtesy of the latest state budget.
The budget eliminates all income taxes for those making less than $21,750 and makes a 4% cut across all other income brackets.
Cupp said lawmakers decided to cut income taxes after the state ended its last fiscal year with a surplus.
Reach Mackenzi Klemann at 567-242-0456.