DELPHOS — State Representative Bob Cupp told Delphos educators that his school funding plan for primary and secondary education will provide a more stable and predictable system.
“The current system is not working … This is an attempt to provide better funding,” Cupp said.
H.B. 305 — the Ohio Fair School Funding Bill proposed by Cupp (R-Lima) and John Patterson (D., Jefferson) — encourages the state to assist with school funding, Cupp explained.
Approximately 70 people, including Delphos School Board members, staff and community members attended the event held Monday at the Delphos Career Center.
“It allowed us to learn about local funding issues and how this could potentially effect Delphos City Schools and other state schools,” said Doug Westrick, Delphos City Schools superintendent.
The new comprehensive funding plan would be entirely phased-in over a six-year span, making it affordable, according to Cupp.`
A faster phase-in could be accomplished in a shorter time frame if additional revenues are realized. The bill is currently being reviewed by the finance committee and then will be voted on by the House.
“It establishes a base cost amount to meet the cost of basic student educational needs, adds additional resources for specific needs, such as special education, educating students living in poverty, and transportation,” Westrick said.
It allocates state and local funding shares based on local capacity measured by property values and resident income.
A transparent formula is used to calculate a realistic base cost amount for each district, which can be described as “the cost to educate a typical student without any special needs in a typical school district.”
The base cost is constructed by using current Ohio cost data applied to teacher/pupil ratios by grade level, plus art, music and physical education, substitute teachers and professional development, co-curriculars, athletics, guidance and safety and security.
Other areas are social/emotional/life support, instructional technology, library and media operations, supplies and academic content.
The local and state shares of the base cost amount are determined by a capacity calculation based 60% on local property valuation per pupil and 40% on district resident income, Cupp said.
Changes in the capacity of one district would no longer impact other districts and raise or lower local and state shares of other districts as now occurs in the current formula.
Upon competition of a formal study of the cost of educating students living in poverty, the funding level will be adjusted accordingly.
Special Education funding for each special education student will be accomplished using a multiplier of the districts base cost amount for each disability category.
Gifted Education supports the gifted education funding recommended in ODE’s 2019 Gifted Funding report.
English Language Learners initially update funding for English Language Learners by using a base cost multiplier for each category. Upon completion of a formal study of the actual cost of educating ELL’s, the funding level will be adjusted accordingly.
Reach Jennifer Peryam at 567-242-0362.