PCS state funding increases

PIQUA — Gov. John Kasich recently released the two-year state budget, a total of $71.2 billion. The new budget commits approximately $10 billion per year for K-12 education, from which Piqua City Schools will benefit.

According to PCS Treasurer Jeremie Hittle, the district received an estimated $15 million from the state in 2015 and is expected to see an estimated $1.4 million increase in fiscal year 2016 and a $1.2 million increase in fiscal year 2017.

“At the end of the day, (state funding) was a significant increase,” Hittle said. “It’s only positive news when it comes to not having to go to voters to increase funding. It’s been a very long time since we’ve had to ask voters for additional money.”

The district finished the 2014-15 fiscal year in the black, with a 24-day balance carried over to the next fiscal year, giving the district additional funds to work with.

“Just because we are getting more money, doesn’t mean we are spending it right away,” Hittle said. He also stated the district wants to take careful consideration of where the extra money can be most useful.

Along with the changes as a result of the budget is the funding cap, which was at 10 percent in 2015 and will be at seven percent in 2016 at PCS. Hittle said part of the formula to determine the cap funding has to do with enrollment.

“The more (students) we have in enrollment will impact the number powers we’ll receive,” Hittle said. “The number will start fluctuating.”

The state budget also includes the following:

  • $40 million over the biennium to provide high-quality preschool services to disadvantaged children.
  • $10 million to train teachers for College Credit Plus education.
  • $30 million invested into the Straight A Fund to encourage further innovation.
  • $20 million toward Ohio’s Community Connectors mentorship.

To look at the governor’s two-year budget in full, visit www.obm.ohio.gov.