Ohio governor: “If you have fewer students, how can you expect the same or more money?”

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Ohio governor John Kasich has released his proposed state budget, and it includes an education provision that has opened plenty of eyes.

Summarized briefly, suburban districts will get more and rural districts will get less. Those suburban districts also benefit from higher taxes to fund many of their initiatives.

The Zanesville Times-Recorder has a broad overview of Kasich’s plans. Perhaps the most important takeaway from the story is what the governor said.

“If you have fewer students, how can you expect the same or more money?”… “It doesn’t make sense to keep giving schools the same amount of money when they need fewer resources.”

Harsh, no? At least that’s what the Columbus Dispatch thinks. Consider this excerpt from its story:

It would seem farcical, you might say, to embrace Ohio’s future by skimping on public schools. And it would be self-defeating, you might argue, to cut funding to Ohio’s venerated public libraries.

Kasich’s plan calls for both those things.

His focus on declining school enrollment means more than 300 districts would lose money next fiscal year and most of them wouldn’t see additional money in 2019.

The proposed budget increases K-12 funding statewide by about 1 percent. Most districts in Franklin County would get a 5 percent increase and none would see a drop. Districts in adjoining counties fare worse, with some looking at 5 percent cuts.

Franklin County is home to populous cities such as Columbus and its suburbs.

Marietta is about 100 miles from Franklin County. It’s in one of those rural areas. Guess what that means? The Marietta Times confirms your answer.

“Many eyes and much discussion will take place before this is final over the next few months,” said Frank Antill, treasurer for Marietta City Schools. “The current governor proposal has Marietta City losing $285,000 in funding in fiscal year 2018 from the previous two-year budget because of guarantee reduction.”

Somehow I doubt the governor will tout ripping the guts out of rural Ohio schools when he runs for president in 2020 or 2024.

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