Massive budget cuts having massive effect

Policy Matters Ohio have published a report titled "The state budget and Ohio’s schools: Big cuts, hard choices, local impact" based upon a survey of Ohio's school distrcits. Their findings are not a surprise to anyone following the state of education policy in Ohio. It provides more evidence governor's budget was no "jobs budget", but instead the most delivered the most draconian cuts to public education in the history of Ohio

The state budget, House Bill 153, will provide $1.8 billion less in funding for Ohio’s elementary andsecondary schools this school year and next, compared to the prior two years. Respondents to a 2011Policy Matters Ohio survey to Ohio’s school districts anticipate rough times ahead. However, theyare not going to the community for local resources: 73 percent did not plan to go to the polls through November 2012. Instead, survey respondents said they are cutting teachers and programs, boostingclass size, and requiring students to pay to participate in extracurricular activities. More than aquarter of respondents anticipate being in official fiscal distress in the coming year.

The effects can be see in 2 graphs

The graph above shows that two thirds of school districts in the survey will experience a budget shortfall, with 1 in 5 believing it to be at least 5% and upwards of 10%.

How districts are dealing with these shortfalls can be seen above. A lot of educators and support professionals are going to lose their jobs, with many positions not being filled, leading to larger class sizes, reductions in curriculum and diminuation of services.

As the legislature takes it time to ponder a school funding formula, it must, as a matter of great urgency consider additional fnding for Ohio's public schools if the state is to have any long term future. There are solutions.

The state budget and Ohio’s schools