Monday, July 28, 2008

State Funding – How it Really Works

Thanks to a tip from the Education Bloggers at The Columbus Dispatch, I found the blog of two members of the State Board of Education, Colleen Grady and Susan Haverkos.

One of their recent posts describes the processes used to develop the education portion of the State's biennial budget, the next of which is scheduled to be put into law by June 30, 2009. Their article is both enlightening and alarming. It's good to understand the process, but alarming that our state leaders appear prepared to enter it with a target of reducing education spending 5%-10%. This suggests that instead of our state funding staying constant from year to year, it is likely to diminish.

Now before we freak out about that, this is a political process, which means all kinds of wheeling and dealing is going to take place between now and next June. Whatever the State Board of Education comes up with, the Governor, the Senators and the State Representatives will tweak it to take care of their home districts, to repay political debts, punish politicians who they think deserve it, and protect those whose seats may be in jeopardy.

I haven't a clue where our representatives stand in that pecking order. Rep. Larry Wolpert is in his last year due to term limitations, and has not indicated any interest in other political office as of yet. Sen. Steve Stivers is running for the seat in the U.S. House of Representatives being vacated by Deborah Pryce, and may not be seated in the Ohio Senate when this budget comes up for vote.

My gut tells me we aren't going to see any windfalls in the next budget. We may be lucky to hang in where we are.


  1. None of this matters because Hilliard is on the transitional aid guarantee. In fact, Hilliard gains about 3.8 million dollars, or 10% of state funding, from being on the guarantee. Unfortunately, ODE and the Governor's office have both hinted at the elimination of the guarantee. The treasurer has also said that state funding in the next biennium is likely to be negative to Hilliard. If the guarantee is eliminated or phased out, this will be a major hit.

    Have a look for yourself at Hilliard's SF-3

  2. Thanks for your comment. Here is a clickable version of the link you provided.

    I admit to having little understanding of the detailed mechanics of how state funding is allocated to our district, and can comment only on the macro level 'megatrends'. To that end, the writing is clear that our disticts, like most of the I-270 suburbs of Columbus, are seen to have sufficient wealth to be net contributors to school funding (rather than net recipients such as many of the rural and urban districts), and that the indicators are that in the process of balancing the State budget against of background of declining revenues, we should not hold out hope for any relief from the State.

    That's the real purpose of the article - to reinforce the point that we're going to be increasingly on our own to solve our financial problems.


  3. If anyone thinks that our current officeholders at any level, including those currently running for another government paycheck, IE Kilroy and Stivers, et al then I would ask you to send me 1,000 dollars and tommorrow and next week I would gie you 11,000

    You will hear a lot of garbage from
    our congressional, state rep, et al
    candidates about how important education.

    Ask them a simple question. Given the economic conditions will you support appropriate legislation
    and be willing to quit if you cant get it done, to not vote or support any future school mandates for the next five years.
    Also ask them are you willing to resign if by the end of the first year of your new term that all districts get equal funding increases, decreases. .

    And ask your local elected leaders in your township, village, city
    school board, who they are supporting if these people are actually going to do something or keep feeding us silly rhetoric !

  4. Paul, what is the latest on the credit card report by 10TV? I had heard that someone went around and picked up individual credit cards since that investigation aired. Is that true? Did they collect everyones or just a chosen few? Any thoughts..

  5. I hadn't heard that. Anyone have any insight into this?