Back in February of 2015 the state announced possible budget cuts that could have chopped 42% off the state contribution to the Grandview schools. This worked out to about 6% of the total operating expenses projected for the district. I took the school board and administration to task for their passive reaction to the cuts. Some commenters assumed the school board had enough influence with the state through lobbying groups to retain the funding, and that action on the local level was not needed. The final budget has been signed by Governor Kasich, and with his line-item vetoes, the Grandview school district will see a 4% cut in total funding starting in 2017.
The Tri-V news spoke too soon.
The TVN has an article printed on Wednesday that seems to be contradictory, it claims there will be no cuts. “It’s about what we expected,” is a quote from district Treasurer Beth Collier. Unfortunately, this article was written before the Governor stripped funding from the school with a veto. If the flat funding was expected by the school administration, the lobby groups the school used apparently did their jobs and had convinced state legislators to keep the “hold harmless” funding. All that work with the legislators can be canceled with a simple cross-out by the Governor, and a vote to override the veto would be highly unlikely with a majority Republican state House and Senate.
Current numbers are in the Dispatch article
Read the Dispatch article for a current picture of the cuts that will be in place for schools all over Ohio. The number that caught my eye is the reimbursement eliminated account for 5 percent or more of the budgets of 88 Ohio school districts. These schools will be faced with the need to either pass high increases in taxes or make draconian cuts to school programs.
Superintendent Culp sent an email out that explains the numbers and inpact this new budget will have on the Grandview schools. Once again, it seems to me to be strangely passive, implying that the cuts are just things that happen, like school snow days. The full text is quoted after the jump.
Dear Grandview Heights Staff, Parents, and Community Members,
The purpose of this email is to update the community with regard to the Governor John Kasich’s line item veto as well as the changes to PARCC assessment to AIR state testing requirements and the factual implications to the Grandview Heights City Schools.
Following months of deliberation, the state budget process has now concluded as Governor Kasich recently signed into law the next biennial state budget bill. Grandview Heights City Schools will lose over $663,000.00 in state funding support in fiscal year 2017, which represents almost 4% of our total annual operating budget. To a small school district like us, this is significant.
As we have previously reported, a loss in state support for our schools is not new to us. In fact, our school district has experienced more than $2.1 million in reductions over the last four years. We have implemented measures to offset these state funding losses and we remain committed to our strong tradition of fiscal responsibility and accountability that is Grandview Heights City Schools.
We are currently assessing this situation to determine how this latest decrease in state school funding will impact our overall budget and we will continue to provide you with timely updates as we learn more. However, our primary purpose and focus has always been, and remains, on educating each and every child every day.
Additionally, the PARCC assessments were eliminated which measured student learning throughout Ohio. State Superintendent Dick Ross stated that Ohio will put all assessments on a single platform known as AIR. The AIR platform was used to implement the Social Studies and Science Assessments during the 2014-2015 school year. Ross also stated that the Ohio Department of Education will work quickly to give districts an update in August regarding the assessments and timelines. We will certainly keep you abreast of the latest information and the implications for your children and for our schools.
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have questions or would like any additional information.
Andy Culp, Superintendent
Beth Collier, Treasurer