October 20, 2014

Mostly cloudy

Groups target reduced state aid for schools

It’s hard to understand how city governments and public school districts are funded when budgets reach into the millions and decisions sometimes are made far from home.

A website recently was launched in an attempt to illustrate how public funding has changed in the last four years. The site is supported by Policy Matters Ohio and Innovation Ohio, two left-leaning research groups.

Locally, Keystone Superintendent Jay Arbaugh is leading the charge in letting voters know how decisions made in Columbus affect life in Lorain County and beyond.

“I have never had a parent in my 22 years of education come to me and say I want more kids in the classroom with my kid,” Arbaugh said.

Collectively, Lorain County school districts have lost $14.6 million in education funding in the past four years, and local governments across the county have lost another $33.8 million for a total of $48.4 million less coming into the area, according to data on the website.

The local government loss is based on several revenue streams including the local government fund, public library fund, casino revenues and the elimination of Tangible Personal Property (TPP), Public Utility Property (PUPT) and estate taxes. Education losses are based on state formula aid, tax reimbursements for TPP and PUPT, federal stimulus funds and casino revenues.

Thursday, Arbaugh was joined by several others on a regional conference call hosted by One Ohio Now, a coalition of nonprofit, labor and advocacy groups.

Keystone might return to voters in November in hopes of securing more local money to counterbalance what has been lost from the state. If the attempt fails, parents can expect more cuts — reductions their students will feel, Arbaugh said.

“Eliminating AP classes doesn’t benefit kids and increased class sizes are not beneficial to kids, but that’s where we are at,” he said.

Arbaugh was joined by Lima Mayor David Berger, Wendy Patton, senior project director for Policy Matters Ohio, and Stephen Dyer, education policy fellow with Innovation Ohio.

The last four years, under the administration of Gov. John Kasich, have seen systematic, deep and far-reaching cuts into their budgets, the advocates said.

The website shows how the “do more with less” mentality is not working. It includes updated data from the 2014-15 state budget, said Gavin DeVore Leonard, state director of One Ohio Now.

“Across the past four years, more than $515 million in cuts have come to education and $1.5 billion to local governments,” he said. “But more important is what the impact feels like and looks like in communities.”

Berger said the reduced revenue has created a new norm for Lima. “Based upon budgets being proposed, we are expected to live at reduced levels for years to come,” he said.

The $3 million Lima lost during that time could have provided the city with the income to fund 50 additional employees. Instead, Lima has reduced its ranks from 530 full-time employees to 360 employees. The city has closed two out of five fire stations, is short on police officers and firefighters, and Berger said he has no secretary or chief of staff.

Contact Lisa Roberson at 329-7121 or lroberson@chroniclet.com. Follow her on Twitter @LisaRobersonCT.

  • Sis Delish

    OMG!! Has the City of Lima ceased to exist?!! Please, tell me it isn’t so!

  • SniperFire

    ‘It’s hard to understand how city governments and public school districts are funded when budgets reach into the millions and decisions sometimes are made far from home.’

    It is also hard to understand school funding when you – as the only source of this information for most people, simply refuse to share THE REAL NUMBERS ON OPERATING REVENUE and just report -VERBATIM AND WITHOUT QUESTION – exactly what people like Jay Arbaugh tell you to report.

    Publishing bile and selective ‘facts’ from ‘left-leaning research groups’ in a vacuum is intellectually dishonest, especially when you refuse to present any semblance of the other side of the story – or the majority opinion.

  • golfingirl

    It is about time the State of Ohio stops spending money it does not have!

    The Federal Government has a National Debt quickly approaching $18T.

    At least we now have a governor who understands basic economic principles.

    No wonder we live in an entitlement society. The very schools who teach our children are at the front of the line with their their hands out for more government money.

    There are “X” number of dollars….you can’t continue to spend “X times 5″ and think the math adds up!

    Even Common Core Math can’t make this work!

  • oldruss

    The article even admitted that these are, “two left-leaning research groups.” That says it all.

    Was this a free political advertisement for Ed Fitzgerald?

    Could the Chronicle Telegram not have found ONE official who was not in the left-hip-pocket of these “two left-leaning research groups”? I guess, Lisa Roberson is in their pocket too.

    • Mark B

      Not just her , but the entire CT and their Staff , its pathetic

      • SniperFire

        Seems the Chronicle-Telegram is completely incapable of considering the viewpoint of the 80% of Americans who do not call themselves ‘liberals.’

        The good news? We are here to help! LOL

        • TruthWhisperer

          Yet you are here every single day complaining.

          “80% of Americans who do not call themselves ‘liberals.’”

          Yet you lose by a landslide every year to liberals so its safe to say its at least 60% liberals.

          Dont let facts get in the way of your denial though

          • Sis Delish

            Lose every year? Facts getting in your way?

          • TruthWhisperer

            how you been doing since 06? Remember when the right held all house, senate, president, supreme court?
            Yeah talk about putting the country in the crapper

            Landslide landslide landslide.

          • Sis Delish

            Landslides result in destruction of everything folks worked all their lives for. For once, you get close to the Truth.

            As far as winning by a landslide “every year”, your distance from the Truth widens to light-years.

          • TruthWhisperer

            Whatever you need to tell yourself to get through reality

  • trose1

    When will people realize Kasich and crew is cutting taxes for the rich and leaving the middle class and poor to fend for yourselves.

    • golfingirl

      They will realize it when it is true!

      Entitlements are out of this world, the poor are not “fending” for themselves.

      • TruthWhisperer

        Neither are the Corporations that live on welfare.

        • SniperFire

          I just saw a new store over on North Abbe which exists to give freeloaders free cell phones from the gubmint.
          How kewl is that!?

          • TruthWhisperer

            At a cost of trillions tax free?

            Facts in your way again Sniper Fart

      • TruthWhisperer

        an Econ 101 class would really do you some good.

    • Bill Love

      get a clue

  • trose1

    Our personal state tax dollars are going up but the cities are saying they are being cut $’s. Where is the money going Kasich?

    • Pablo Jones

      Well if your taxes are going up when the tax rate has been cut then you are making more money. Congratulations you just proved that those that earn more money are paying more in taxes.

      • trose1

        I don’t give a damn about rich people. I know my taxes are subsidizing rich people. Kasich is no friend to the middle class.

        • Pablo Jones

          Are you taxed at a higher rate than the rich? Are you paying more in taxes than the rich? How are you subsidizing the rich?

        • golfingirl

          If you don’t “give a damn about rich people,” why should “rich” people give a damn about you?

    • Bill Love

      to pay off the debt ohio had when he took office

  • trose1

    How much money is this state paying for trying to suppress people from voting? The court costs fights and tax dollars wasted on this initiative by racist state lawmakers must be in the millions.

    • Sis Delish

      Don’t know, please tell us just how much money “the state” is paying to try to suppress (all) people from voting.

      • Sis Delish


    • stillsleepyeyes

      so having to show a id of who you are is suppressing?????

    • golfingirl

      I have learned, that those who spout racism, are usually the ones who are racist…. ala Al Sharpton.

    • Bill Love

      how are the suppress voting? by asking for a id which everyone should have

      • SniperFire

        Freeloaders are just taught to parrot stupid Leftist soundbites and yell racist.

  • Pablo Jones

    So how much money less is Keystone getting from the State? How much money are they currently getting? What percentage of their budget is represented by the reduction? How much have teachers wages and compensation increased over the last four years?

  • Pablo Jones

    “It’s hard to understand how city governments and public school districts are funded when budgets reach into the millions and decisions sometimes are made far from home.”

    No it’s not hard to understand, it’s called a budget and balance sheet. Show where the revenues are coming from and what the expenses are broken down. Compare the last couple years and show the percentage change so we can see where the changes are taking place.

  • SniperFire

    ‘Thursday, Arbaugh was joined by several others on a regional conference call hosted by One Ohio Now, a coalition of nonprofit, labor and advocacy groups.’

    Arbaugh is in bed with the Leftists in spreading disinformation, then? shocker.