Springfield City School administrators have had time to digest the school funding plan released by Ohio House Republicans. Under the House plan, schools will receive nearly $121 million less next year than in Governor John Kasich's plan. Springfield City Schools fare well under the House plan.
In their school funding budget, House Republicans increased per-pupil funding in Ohio from $5,000 in Kasich’s plan to $5,732 in 2014, which is the same amount that has been in place since 2009.
Springfield Superintendent Dr. David Estrop is happy with the House plan and believes it will benefit the kids in Clark County.
"We benefit from, at the least the preliminary numbers that have been shared with us, from the House Budget Bill. The first year, we would receive a $3.2 million increase approximately, and an approximate $3.4 million increase in 2014/2015. That represents for both years the maximum six percent increase that was the cap the House put on the increases over each of the two years in the biennium budget bill," Estrop said.
Governor Kasich supports significantly expanding the school voucher program to allow more students to attend private or parochial schools. Estrop has a problem with that idea. He feels Kasich's plan doesn't require either type of school to have the same performance accountability standards as public schools.
"Once a student takes the voucher and goes to a private or parochial school there is no accounting for how the child is doing. So, the state of Ohio would be sending money to a private or parochial school and literally being in a position to flush and forget that child because they are no longer held accountable in any way for results. So the public won't know what kind of performance they are getting as they currently do with public schools and for that matter community or charter schools," Estrop said.
Estrop says that if a private or parochial school doesn't want to accept the accountability that should come with receiving state funding, then they shouldn't accept the money.