Tri-State reacts to Kasich's school-funding plan on Thursday - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Kasich's school-funding plan surprises local educators


Governor Kasich unveiled his school-funding overhaul Thursday to superintendents in Columbus.

Kasich says his plan is focused on giving all students the resources to succeed.    

The highlights of the plan include giving a boost to districts with limited income, introduce changes to promote innovation and performance, and increasing tax-supported school vouchers.

The main source of relief for educators was the announcement that under Kasich's plan no schools would see reduced funding next year. In fact, overall funding would increase.

While there are still plenty of details to inspect in the plan, initial reviews were unexpectedly positive.

 "I was expecting to have many cuts," Sellers told FOX19 following Kasich's announcement.

The last few years Julie Sellers has learned to brace herself for budget talks. As the head of the Cincinnati Federation of Teachers, Sellers has had a front seat view of state budget cut impacts on local schools in recent years.

"I really was kind of worried that the urbans were going to get hit hard," she admitted Thursday.

Yet as she listened to the governors' plan streaming live from Columbus, she was pleasantly surprised.

"I was bracing," she said. "I did not know if we would have cuts, but I did not think we could get more."

Sellers was pleased to see the ten-fold increase in funding for disability programs, full-day funding for eligible Kindergarten programs compared to the half day funding of the past, and increased grant opportunities.

"This might be a way for us to continue some of the work that we've already started," Sellers said of the $300,000 in grants included in the plan.

As much excitement as there may be, tough times have taught Sellers not to start counting money before it's in hand. 

"I really can't wait to see something in writing," she said, noting the state budget must still be approved by the legislature.

Sellers says she also has a number of concerns stemming from the proposed plan including the details of the plan to grow the state's controversial school voucher program. In addition, she shared concerns about the governor's merit pay and pay for performance plan.

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