The Waverly City School District has announced it is joining hundreds of school districts statewide to support the Fair School Funding Plan, as introduced in the Ohio House as H.B. 305 and the Ohio Senate as S.B. 376, and is urging lawmakers to seize this moment to make history for Ohio's K-12 public schools.
The plan is an improved and comprehensive, bipartisan remake of Ohio's current funding formula. It is also the product of three years of concentrated volunteer efforts by a group of active school superintendents and treasurers under the leadership of state representatives Bob Cupp (R-Lima) John Patterson (D-Jefferson) and Gary Scherer (R-Circleville). Senators Peggy Lehner (R-Kettering) and Vernon Sykes (D- Akron) introduced Senate Bill 376 to companion the House version.
Waverly City Schools Superintendent, Ed Dickens says the plan focuses on what students need to ensure a high-quality education. He added it also gives weight to supporting classroom instruction, as well as making sure Ohio public school students can learn in a safe and secure environment while having access to state-of-the-art technology.
“The Fair School Funding Plan addresses the whole student, including classroom instruction, extracurricular, and social and emotional needs," said Dickens. "The plan allows for and respects local control, giving each district flexibility to address the needs in their district year to year. ”
According to Waverly City Schools Treasurer/CFO Claudia Zaler, the current funding system is broken and unconstitutional; its provisions have no objectively determined relationship to cost or need.
"The current formula per pupil amount cannot be tied to anything, Whereas, the proposed amount can be," said Zaler. "The proposed Fair School Funding proposal also places a priority on economically disadvantaged students by fully funding economically disadvantaged aid up front, without phase in, before any other monies are distributed."
Dickens and Zaler said they believe the plan is fair for students and taxpayers, eliminates arbitrary caps on funding increases, reduces artificial guarantees and respects local control.