Gov. DeWine distributing funds to help school districts

Gov. DeWine distributing funds to help school districts

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - A drop in statewide third-grade student testing has Gov. Mike DeWine making a $2B available for school districts to fix the problem.

While students have not been in the classroom, Gov. DeWine says some students have fallen behind.

Third-grade proficiency numbers are down 8% across all of Ohio, the governor announced Tuesday.

While that number might not sound like a lot, it was enough for Gov. DeWine to put out a call to every district.

“We have to move, and we have to move quickly,” Gov. DeWine said Tuesday. “Our kids get one chance to grow up and we cannot delay. So, I’m asking the public schools to make their plans public for the citizens and the general assembly no later than April 1.”

This announcement caught Lakota Superintendent Matt Miller off guard.

“Now we’re all in reaction mode,” Miller said. “A lot of times we get a heads up on things that are coming out, that we can at least be prepared for and at least respond to, and this one caught a lot of us, I think, off guard.”

Miller says coming up with a plan will take time for districts.

Unfortunately, Miller says he thinks there is no quick fix to help students.

“I think we need to be realistic,” Miller explains. “We’ve been in a pandemic for almost a year, and our students’ learning has suffered, and I don’t think the gains that we need to make back are going to happen in the short term.”

The Lakota superintendent says the $2B from the federal government will likely be used on staff.

“We are a people business,” Miller says. “We don’t make things per se. So, the dollars are probably going to be allocated by and large for staffing. For the remediation for the potential for an extended school year. I think that makes a lot of sense.”

Miller adds that his team will be able to pull together a plan, but it may be difficult for districts still learning from home to meet that April 1 deadline.

The plans Gov. DeWine asks of school districts could include adding days to the school calendar, longer days, or even summer classes.

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