Both the House and Senate increased the amount the state will spend on its 610 school districts beyond Gov. John Kasich’s original budget proposal. But school leaders are concerned about a big cut that’s remained through all three versions of the budget.
The Senate budget puts $271 million more into schools than the House budget does, meaning that only about 75 districts will get less money than they got last year. But school leaders say the largest general revenue fund cut to any part of the budget is in student transportation – a cut of $100 million.
"If you can’t get them there, obviously you can’t have them in the classroom, and we see that as almost as an important as the things that we would put in the classroom," said Barbara Shaner of the Ohio Association of School Business Officials.
Districts say pupil transportation was already underfunded, and Shaner says that money for buses will have to be made up locally – either through levies or cuts to other programs.