Plan

Every child deserves a high-quality education regardless of where they live, their circumstances or their own unique learning traits.  It is essential for helping them get good jobs in the future, reach their God-given potential, and create the jobs-friendly climate that helps Ohio get back on track.

Achievement Everywhere, which is part of Gov. John Kasich’s FY2014-15 budget proposal, helps provide all schools with the resources they need so their students can succeed—regardless of where they live.  The plan provides $1.2 billion in total new funds over the biennium for primary and secondary education. Other highlights include:

  • A funding formula that provides schools with the resources to help children achieve, regardless of where they live;
  • Policies that focus on putting dollars in the classroom where educators can help students succeed and work with their parents to make decisions on how best to respond to their unique learning traits;
  • Special funds to help schools transition from unsuccessful models to new strategies that work, and;
  • Relief for educators from rules and regulations that hold them back so they can have more flexibility to meet students’ needs.

Resources to Succeed for Every Child: Achievement Everywhere’s formula for distributing state funds to local schools begins with “Core Opportunity Aid”. This aid ensures that every school district that levies 20 mills in property taxes (20 dollars for every $1,000 of assessed property value) will generate the same as a district with a $250,000 per-pupil property tax base.  Only 4 percent of districts in Ohio have more than a $250,000 per-pupil property tax base.  This means that, under the governor’s plan, every student’s district will have the same amount of resources as if it enjoyed $250,000 in per-pupil valuation,[1] regardless of the actual value of their district’s property tax base.

Extra Help for Schools:  Achievement Everywhere’s “Targeted Assistance feature provides additional funds to school districts based in part on the income of their residents.  Some districts might have average or even above average property tax values but also have residents who earn lower incomes and are therefore less likely to approve higher property tax levies.  The extra funds provided through “Targeted Assistance” helps address this problem.

No District Receives Less:  The continuation of “Guarantee Funds” allows no district to receive less in formula state aid than it did in the current 2013 fiscal year.  While this shields many districts from having to face up to the reality of the formula funding reductions that would otherwise be automatically triggered by their shrinking student populations, it also caps and denies formula funds to large, growing districts.  Over the long-term, the inequities created by “Guarantee Funds” are unsustainable and unfair, and school districts should begin preparing for their eventual phase out.

OHIO’S ACHIEVEMENT EVERYWHERE PLAN FUNDING LEVELS (FY14-15)

(General Revenue Funds and Lottery)

Fiscal Year

GRF & Lottery Spending

Increase From Previous Fiscal Year

FY 2013

$6.9 billion

--

FY 2014

$7.4 billion

$465 million/6.7% more

FY 2015

$7.7 billion

$306 million/4.1% more

TOTAL FUNDING: $771 million more in FY2015 than in FY 2013 OR $1.2 billion in new state funds over two years

Directing Dollars to the Classroom:  Prioritizing resources to the classroom so that teachers' instructional activities are as effective as possible is a deeply held priority for the governor, which he continues to pursue in Achievement Everywhere.  Under the plan, Ohio will work with local schools to identify the in-classroom needs of students and educators and then allocate funds based on these needs.

Special Education: Relying on research conducted by the Ohio Coalition for Students with Disabilities, additional funds are provided to schools to help them educate and support students with disabilities.  For students whose disabilities require more-costly support, Ohio will provide more than a ten-fold increase in funds. Increased support is also provided for three- and four-year olds with disabilities to make sure that they receive strong resources early, when interventions can provide maximum help.

English Language Learners: To help students not yet proficient in English learn as effectively as possible and successfully engage in their communities, special funds are provided for the first three years that a student attends school in the United States.  Continuing support is provided to facilitate school/family communications if family members are not yet English speakers.

Early Childhood: Quality early childhood programs improve educational outcomes for disadvantaged students. School districts with large populations of disadvantaged students, but limited access to early childhood programs, will receive additional resources in recognition of the additional supports these students often require in early the grades.  These funds will be especially helpful in making sure these students meet Ohio’s new Third Grade Reading Guarantee.

Children in Poverty: Children who live in poverty frequently face challenges that interfere with their ability to succeed in school. Providing districts extra funds for these students gives educators the resources they need to take the extra steps necessary to help them achieve.

Gifted and Talented: Many students have special talents that can best be nurtured through more challenging instruction, but Ohio has traditionally lacked a consistent method for supporting these students.  Achievement Everywhere provides districts $50 per student to help identify gifted students and support their unique learning styles and abilities.

OHIO’S ACHIEVEMENT EVERYWHERE PLAN

FORMULA COMPONENT FUNDING LEVELS (FY14-15)

(K-12 district funding from General Revenue Funds and Lottery)


FY 2013

FY 2014

FY 2015

Core Opportunity Aid

--

3,835.3

3,879.8

Targeted Resources

--

602.8

702.9

Special Education

--

711.2

765.3

English Language Learners

--

17.7

18.8

Early Childhood Access

--

90.3

90.3

Poverty

--

488.8

488.8

Gifted and Talented

--

85.2

85.2

Guarantee Funds

--

464.3

416.1

TOTAL FORMULA FUNDS

5,884.01

6,233.41

6,432.92

Increase: $349 million/5.9%

more than FY2013

Increase: $199.5 million/3.2%

more than FY2014

 

The Straight-A Fund: The governor’s plan creates the new $300 million Straight A Fund to provide one-time grants to those districts with the will to take on ambitious new strategies for helping their students improve their achievement levels and increase their operational efficiency.  Any savings generated through these transformations can be used by districts as they see fit, including to improve classroom instruction or make locally-generated property tax revenues go further.

Removing barriers and providing the flexibility to maximize classroom resources: To give educators the maximum ability to help students achieve, Achievement Everywhere gives districts the option of setting aside certain mandates that could stand in the way of educators’ and students’ success, as long as the health and safety is prioritized.

Investing in what works:  In order to nurture a uniformly high-achieving education culture across Ohio, Achievement Everywhere helps school districts compare their education outcomes and management practices to those of similar districts, so that that they can learn from one another and constantly improve.

BOTTOM LINE: Achievement Everywhere builds upon school improvement initiatives, such as the Third Grade Reading Guarantee and A-to-F Report Card, to help better educate Ohio’s children and prepare them for successful careers.

It provides significant new resources for Ohio’s schools:

  • Formula funds for K-12 districts increase $548.5 million over the biennium: $349 million/5.9 percent in FY2014 and $199 million/3.2 percent in FY2015;
  • GRF and Lottery funds used to support Achievement Everywhere increase $771 million/11 percent by FY2015
  • All new funding for Achievement Everywhere totals $1.2 billion over two years.

Gov. Kasich is taking on Ohio’s persistent education disparities to help every student achieve—regardless of their zip code—and by prioritizing classroom needs from early childhood to higher education, Achievement Everywhere advances the tradition of Ohio’s strong partnership with independent local schools so that the next generation of Ohioans can realize their God-given potential and lift our state to new heights.



[1] “Per-pupil valuation” is the total value of all property in a school district divided by the total number of its students.


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