A proposed new school funding formula would cost Ohio $720 million more than the current K-12 budget. But it doesn’t include funding for charter or community schools, which the state spent more than $880 million on last year.
Traditional public school funding is based on the number of students in districts. If a student goes to a charter school, more money follows them to that charter than the traditional school gets from the state. The new formula, created by State Reps. Bob Cupp (R-Lima) and John Patterson (D-Jefferson), suggests direct funding for charters.
Chad Aldis of the Fordham Institute, which studies charters nationally and operates some in Ohio, says he hoped to see what the formula would do with charters.
“The idea that students using choice impacts the ratios used to determine how much aid a traditional public school gets – we need to get away from that," Aldis said.
While House Speaker Larry Householder and others dismissed the idea of directly funding charters, Aldis said he supports it if the funds come from a pool and not from a budget line item that could be vetoed.
School business officials have praised the school funding formula, which would have Ohio spend $400 million more on school funding next fiscal year and $320 million more the following year. But they have criticized the plan for giving little to no funding increases for most of Ohio’s large, urban districts.