The State Budget has a direct impact on the education we are able to provide our students in Worthington. It’s very important, and because our Board of Education believes “It’s Worth It” at tonight’s Worthington Board of Education meeting (7:30 P.M. at the Worthington Education Center, 200 E. Wilson Bridge Road) the board will meet with David Leland representing the 22nd House district and Mike Duffy representing the 21st Ohio House District to discuss the recently passed State budget.
In earlier blog posts we’ve written about the Tangible Personal Property Tax (TPP) and the effect that the TPP has on the Worthington Schools financial picture (Governor Kasich reduced the reimbursement for Worthington Schools from $15 million annually in fiscal year 2011 to $10.6 million by the end of fiscal year 2013. The current budget will reduce this funding to $0 by fiscal year 2019. We’ll lose 10.6 million dollars a year that has always come to Worthington Schools. 10.6 Million!) In a blog we title The Veto we explained that “with a single stroke of a pen Governor Kasich erased millions of dollars that the Ohio House and Senate had determined should continue to flow to Worthington Schools. With this decision, Worthington will receive less money from the State of Ohio over this biennium than we had in previous years.”
Tonight’s meeting will be to review the State budget and discuss the philosophy behind it with our representatives. In Worthington recent decisions at the Statehouse have not been kind to our community. For instance our Treasurer Jeff McCuen reports that in 2006 Worthington received a net of 29.8 million dollars per year from the State of Ohio. In 2017 our net will only be 21.2 million dollars. Thus eleven years later Worthington will receive 8.6 million dollars less per year than this community used to.
As a result of these state level decisions the local residential taxpayer now pays for 51% of the school district budget. In 2006 this number was only 41%. Both the state and businesses are paying less than they did in 2006. As a school district this continual shift towards asking more of the local residential taxpayer concerns us. In addition, the expansion of school choice with funds coming from the local district is also concerning.
When the State Budget was passed several news agencies reported that districts would be held harmless and not receive less money from that State. But, those articles did not address the full extent of the loss. In addition to the loss of tangible personal property tax reimbursements, the budget also increases the tuition for autism scholarships, Jon Peterson scholarships and Ed Choice scholarships. A back-of-the-napkin calculation shows that the increase alone will cost Worthington Schools over a million dollars for the biennium.
Tonight our Worthington Board of Education will discuss several resolutions that they believe are necessary to protect funding for Worthington Schools. The full resolutions can be found here on pages 8-10. Please consider attending our meeting this evening and adding your voice to the discussion on school funding for Worthington.
-Trent Bowers, Superintendent