Budget News for March 31st, 2011

What readers of JTF have known for some time, that the budget cuts proposed for K-12 education are reckless and devastating, are starting to come into stark relief in media reports around the state.

Broken Promises are what the Dispatch reports

Numerous central Ohio schools are reeling from what several education leaders call "a broken promise" that has districts losing more money than they expected from the state.
"It's catastrophic," Marysville Superintendent Larry Zimmerman said. "These were local dollars at one time that the state took away, and now we're not going to get reimbursed."

Plunderbund, in an article worth reading in full, looks at the confusing mess of information release that has plagued this budget rollout

Yesterday, knowing that the media would be focused on the latest developments on SB 5, the Kasich Administration did a massive budgetary document dump finally releasing both the statutory language of the entire budget and more accurate school district funding impact projections yesterday.

Except it’s a patchwork of projections that require you to examine two separate sheets on the business property tax reimbursement raid and then two other separate sheets on the utility tax reimbursement raid. You then have to take those numbers and compare them to the foundation aid projects they made last week.

The Plain Dealer went all out and produced a map of schools getting cuts

The governor's administration released the details of this plan as five separate tables, making it difficult for many people -- including district administrators, parents and other taxpayers -- to figure out how it would affect their communities and others around the state.

So on Wednesday the newspaper calculated the impact for other districts across Ohio. These findings can be viewed below in an interactive map and on a chart.

K-12 Cuts

It's becoming obvious why the method of disseminating K-12 funding numbers is so opaque. When the true calculations are made the cuts are savage.

This leads to headlines like: Ohio gov, school districts differ on budget math, and West M levy talk postponed until July

Board members and Superintendent Sharon Smith agreed that now was too soon to determine what type of levy should be placed on the ballot because the numbers of the new budget released by John Kasich might change between now and June.

"I just don't see how we can put a levy out there in August when we don't have the numbers," said Don Riley, a board member. "We may not be asking for enough or we may ask for too much. I agree we're going to need a levy at some point."

Quite. This is going to take some time to sort out, and the budget needs to be complete by the end of June, so expect to see lots of stories like this one - Districts learn how deep state cuts might be

Exactly what school funding will be for the next two years seems to change daily, said Jay Tingle, treasurer for the Ridgewood Local School District.

“There are just too many projections out there right now,” Superintendent Rick Raach said.