(Posted April 15, 2015)
Madison-Plains school board members, Superintendent Tim Dettwiller and Treasurer Todd Mustain recently met with state Rep. Bob Hackett to share concerns about the impact the governor’s proposed budget would have on the school district.
Madison-Plains officials explained that the presented funding formula would cut support to Madison-Plains by $675,000 over the next two years. This would be a 10 percent loss in state funding to the district.
Gov. John Kasich released his proposed biennial budget in February, as is required every two years. The bill must be approved by July 1.
Dettwiller said a State Legislative Day hosted by the Ohio School Boards Association on March 25 provided him and his colleagues an opportunity to discuss the district’s fiscal health with Hackett.
“We told him that our farmers had just received a 100 percent increase in their taxes due to the state’s adjustment to CAUV credits,” Dettwiller said. “We stressed that the governor’s implication that Madison-Plains is not doing enough to support their school is not justified.
“Madison-Plains has a higher level-of-effort index rating than any of the other Madison County schools, which shows how much local tax is paid in relation to the wealth of the community.”
District officials explained to Hackett that they believe the current funding formula penalizes school systems with highly valued soil, such as Madison-Plains, because Ohio funds the operations of its schools and the building of new schools based primarily on the value of the soil in the district.
“In other words,” Dettwiller said, “we said we are concerned because school education and facilities in Ohio are funded based upon the ground the students are walking on instead of their actual needs.”
Dettwiller said Hackett assured district officials that the legislature is working on changes to the budget proposal that would benefit the students of Madison-Plains.