School Advocacy Committee
The School Advocacy Committee’s dual purpose is to educate the Olentangy community about the issues facing the district with regard to state funding systems and to advocate for the Olentangy student and taxpayer at local, state and federal levels.
School Funding Virtual Public Forum
The District held a School Funding Virtual Public Forum March 22, 2021 featuring Senator Andrew Brenner, State Reps. Rick Carfagna and Kris Jordan, as well as District Superintendent Mark Raiff and District Treasurer Emily Hatfield. The group discussed the state's current school funding status as well as an update on the status of the Fair State Funding Plan.
2019 was a busy year since it was a budget year for our state. The School Advocacy Committee requested eight calls to action asking our elected officials to support the Cupp-Patterson Ohio Fair Funding plan and one call to action asking Rep. Kris Jordan to be a co-sponsor of House Bill 305, the Cupp-Patterson bill. These were done on our Facebook page and through district emails and other communications. We had 47 Facebook posts updating people on the state budget process as it related to school funding. School district Treasurer/CEO Emily Hatfield testified in front of the House Finance Primary and Secondary Education Subcommittee and the Senate Finance Committee, asking for a change to the school funding formula. Mr. Raiff and members of the School Advocacy Committee had numerous one-on-one meetings with members of the House and Senate to educate the elected officials on how lack of school funding impacts our school district. Mr. Raiff also met with members of the administration.
Although a new school funding formula was NOT included in the state’s budget, the members of the House and Senate did approve a Fair Funding amendment which would make the minimum amount of state funding that any school district would receive be the same amount of what private schools receive. This amendment would have been effective July 1, 2022, and would have meant over $29 million in state funding for our school district. However, on July 18, 2019, Gov. Mike DeWine vetoed that amendment. In his veto comments Gov. De Wine said “Ohio’s school funding system was designed to offer the most support to the districts that are least able to provide adequate services to their student. The districts that would benefit the most from this item are among the wealthiest in Ohio. Carving out a special exemption to provide additional resources to the districts most capable of providing resources for their students is not a responsible use of the limited funding available.” Columbus Dispatch July 18, 2019.
In September 2019 the Cupp-Patterson plan was turned into a stand-alone bill, House Bill 305. Rep. Rick Carfagna is one of the co-sponsors but Rep. Kris Jordan is not. That bill had several hearings in the House Finance Committee this fall but no hearings for proponent testimony. The last hearing was held prior to Thanksgiving and no hearings have been scheduled yet in 2020.
OLENTANGY ENROLLMENT vs. STATE FUNDING
- Enrollment has increased by 13,539 students since 2004.
- Olentangy is receiving LESS per student than it received in 2005.
- Source: All data comes from the Ohio Department of Education's Cupp Report/District Profiles.
FACTS ABOUT FUNDING
Where does public education funding come from?
- Public school funding comes out of the state’s General Fund, which includes any taxes paid to the state.
How much does it cost to educate a child in Ohio?
- School funding starts with the premise that it cost $6,020 to educate an average student. With our enrollment numbers that means we should get over $129 million. However, due to the school funding formula and caps that the state legislature places on what districts can actually receive, instead of getting $6,020 per pupil Olentangy receives less than $600 per pupil.
What is the State Share Index?
- The state believes local communities should help pay for public schools so they have developed an opportunity aid formula that calculates how much a community can afford to spend on public education. This is what is referred to as the State Share Index. The State Share Index takes into consideration median income and valuation of property. Olentangy's State Share index is .34
What are Caps?
- The state can’t afford to pay Olentangy fully according to the formula, so since 2009 caps have been placed on our state funding. Then in the latest state budget, state funding was frozen at fiscal year 2019 levels. If there were no caps, Olentangy would be receiving over $55 million in state funding. Instead, we are receiving $13,431,097.
Do private schools get state funding?
- Private schools get $1,376 per pupil form the state: $926 for auxiliary services and $450 for administrative reimbursements.
What does the average pubic school receive from the state?
- The average school district in Ohio receives $5,000 per pupil from the state.
What does this mean for Olentangy?
- Olentangy will get $13,431,097 this fiscal year, which includes $1,139,775 - a two-year supplement for growth. This is $640 per pupil.
- Olentangy’s state funding makes up just 6% of our district’s revenues.
- If Olentangy could secure at least the same amount of funding that private schools get, that would translate to $29,028,096 or double what we currently receive.
- Any additional funding from the state translates to local tax relief.
When was the last levy/bond issue for Olentangy?
- Olentangy passed their last operation levy, bond issue and permanent improvement levy in 2016.
- The operating levy was 5.9 mills, the bond issue was no additional millage and the permanent improvement levy was 1 mill.
- At that time, the school board promised the operating levy would last three years. In actuality, it will last four years due to reductions in expenditures.
What is Olentangy’s March 17, 2020 school issue:
- A 7.4 mill operating levy to provide funds for everyday operations.
- A.5 permanent improvement levy to keep our facilities in working order.
- A no additional millage bond issue for two new elementary schools and a middle school.
What is a mill?
- One mill in our school district brings in $4.1 million dollars in Fiscal Year 2019; $4.2 million in Fiscal Year 2020; and $4.6 million for Fiscal Years 2021-2023
The district’s October 5-Year Financial Forecast is on the district’s website at www.olentangy.k12.oh.us. Click on the Departments tab and go to the Treasurer’s page to review the document.
SAC Meeting Summaries, Reports and Presentations
- Monday March 5, 2018 - 7p.m., Olentangy Administrative Offices, 7840 Graphics Way. Berlin Room
May 2018 Primary Ballot Candidate Forum video
2016-2017 Meetings: Unless noted otherwise, the SAC meetings are held at 6:30 p.m. in the Olentangy Administrative Office Berlin Room, 7840 Graphics Way.
- Monday May 15, 2017 - Olentangy Administrative Offices, 7840 Graphics Way. Berlin Room
- Monday, January 23, 2017 (Conference Room A/B in the Administration Offices, 814 Shanahan Road)
Meeting Video: State Rep. Andrew Brenner's School Funding Proposal
- Question: Senator Brenner - Can the Senate support a new school funding formula? If not, what do you have planned that will benefit our school district?
- Question: I have heard that the current funding formula is not constitutional. If that is the case, is it possible to take legal action to sue for damages?
- Question: What indications do you have from the governor that whatever he is presented with will be signed?
- Question: What can the community do to ensure that HB1 is passed this time and signed by the Governor?
- Question: How does the Jon Peterson scholarship effect what public schools receive?
- Question: How can the district coordinate an effort amongst the parents to voice our concerns to the governor about how Olentangy schools are being unfairly funded? It seems as if he needs to hear our collective voices.
- Question: Why did Gov. Kasich and Gov. DeWine veto?
- Question: Would Senate Bill 111 provide any funds to Olentangy?
- Question: In SB 111, which Sen. Brenner has cosponsored, 18.5% of funding is going to private schools, although those schools only educate about 9% of all students in Ohio. Why wouldn't more of the funds go to our public schools?
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How to contact our elected officials
Sen. Andrew Brenner
Rep. Rick Carfagna
Rep. Kris Jordan
Gov. Mike DeWine
About the Committee Meetings
All meetings are open and the public is welcome to attend. Unless noted otherwise, the meetings are held at 6:30 p.m. in the Olentangy Administrative Office Berlin Room.