Rural school officials take their case for more money to the statehouse
Superintendents from Appalachian Ohio say the governor's state budget doesn't share enough of Ohio's economic good fortune with their schools and children.
Members of the Coalition of Rural and Appalachian Schools told state lawmakers and reporters Tuesday they are disappointed that the administration's new school-funding formula leaves many of their districts worse off than before.
Chillicothe City Schools Superintendent John Saxton says while the Kasich plan increases funding for his district it doesn't make up for what has been lost over the last four years.
"We've made cumulative cuts of about $6 million resulting in about 14 percent reduction in our staffing," he said.
He points to the loss of the Tangible Personal Property Tax as a major factor. He says they're at a point where they can't cut and get better.
It's a similar story for Richard Spindler, superintendent at Zane Trace Local Schools in Ross County. He says they've made cuts every years since 2006.
"We're just wanting basic music and basic art and it doesn't appear that we're going to be able to continue those," he said.
The superintendent of Federal Hocking Schools in Athens County, George Wood, said it would be different if Ohio were ``still headed down the road to economic ruin.'' But he said Gov. John Kasich's budget shows growth in income tax, sales tax and Ohio Lottery revenue.
"A 10 percent increase would not be much to ask when the state sees its revenues go up by 35 percent," said Wood.
Tom Gibbs, superintendent for Warren Local Schools in Washington County, said Kasich's plan to use a drilling-tax increase for income-tax relief will take even more resources out of the struggling region.