The $3.5 million of additional state funding provides just an additional 4 - 5 days of operating cash each year.
The Fair School Funding Plan has been adopted by the state in the current biennium budget. The plan changes the way the state calculates the amount of state funding schools get. For example, the state will now look at both local incomes and property values to determine how much a district should be able to cover on its own. The base amount (the cost to educate the typical student) will be based on a state-wide average. Other components of the plan include funding for special education, transportation, gifted services, etc. Specific components of the plan can be found here: Ohio Fair School Funding.
The Ohio Department of Education (ODE) is tasked with developing new funding reports that explain funding model allocations. New funding reports will demonstrate changes in base funding, direct funding of students where enrolled, and the application of current statistics. Funding reports issued by ODE will incur progressive updates throughout July, August and September to include the components of the Fair School Funding Plan. FY22 actual funding allocations will not be available until the October or November reports. ODE funding reports can be found here: Traditional School Districts Funding.
The results of the funding model will be included in the 2021 Fall update of the five-year forecast though simulations indicate that the district would receive approximately $3.5 million of additional funding per year for the next two fiscal years, As board president Julie Wagner-Feasel notes, “This is an increase to Olentangy’s state funding, but still a lesser amount than what private schools and the average school district in Ohio receives.”
Olentangy Schools educates over 22,000 students and employs nearly 3,000 individuals. The district’s annual general fund budget for the biennium is $281,697,179 and $299,422,914 in FY 22 and 23. The $3.5 million of additional state funding provides just an additional 4 - 5 days of operating cash each year. From district treasurer Emily Hatfield, “Olentangy Schools spends less per pupil than the state average and comparable districts year over year. The planned budget is a step in the right direction to ensure education will be adequately funded. We appreciate the additional funding, but require a lot more progress to be made to improve the district’s heavy reliance on local tax dollars for operating revenue.”