Ohio K-12 schools to get another $100M in federal aid

Incarnation, a Catholic elementary school in Centerville, is the largest local private school recipient of these federal funds. JEREMY P. KELLEY / STAFF
Incarnation, a Catholic elementary school in Centerville, is the largest local private school recipient of these federal funds. JEREMY P. KELLEY / STAFF

Ohio’s K-12 schools are about to get another funding boost, as the State Controlling Board has approved the release of $100 million in federal coronavirus relief aid as schools prepare to reopen.

Ohio Department of Education officials said the money can be used for “expenditures incurred due to the COVID-19 pandemic” from March 1 through the end of 2020. The Ohio Office of Budget and Management cited specific options like protective equipment, cleaning and sanitation, and technology to support remote learning.

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The school aid is allocated primarily based on number of students enrolled in a school or district, with some additional funding to support school transportation obligations, students with disabilities and economically disadvantaged students.

Dayton Public Schools is the largest local district and will receive the biggest share of this aid, at $867,460. Beavercreek and Centerville schools will receive around $430,000 each, Kettering $375,796 and Springboro $296,807.

The totals roughly follow enrollment numbers, with smaller school districts of less than 1,000 students receiving $50,000 or less, all the way down to some small religious or charter schools with no busing receiving less than $1,000.

The money comes after Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine last week announced a bipartisan agreement with legislative leaders on the funding breakdown.

“This financial support is crucial for our schools as they prepare to transition back to the classroom this fall,” said state Rep. Phil Plummer, who represents a large swath of northern Montgomery County.

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This $100 million marks the latest of multiple ups and downs in school funding in the past few months.

• First, Ohio leaders cut K-12 schools’ state funding by $355 million in May and June because of coronavirus-related state budget woes.

• Second, the federal CARES Act provided $489 million to Ohio K-12 schools. But because the state cuts and the federal grants used different formulas, some impoverished districts like Dayton came out millions ahead in the exchange, while wealthy suburban districts including Beavercreek and Centerville were as much as $1.7 million behind.

• Third, in June, Ohio’s state legislature passed a bill restoring $23 million to those wealthier school districts — not making them whole, but providing them “offset payments,” including $889,000 in Beavercreek, $741,000 in Centerville $741,000, and smaller amounts in Springboro and Bellbrook.

All of those changes come as schools saved small amounts of money this spring on bus fuel, spring sports and a few other categories, but increased spending on computers, wifi hotspots and other unexpected needs.

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In this new round of funding, Montgomery County’s total is $4.38 million, split among 34 nonpublic schools, 22 charters, 16 school districts, one STEM school and one career tech center. In Greene County, the seven school districts, one county career center, two charter schools and seven private schools will receive a combined $1.33 million. Miami County public and private schools will split $878,000.

LARGEST RECIPIENTS

School districts

$867,460: Dayton

$433,646: Beavercreek

$428,615: Centerville

$375,796: Kettering

$296,807: Springboro

Charter schools

$36,533: DECA Prep

$34,601: Pathway School

$30,625: Klepinger School

$30,356: Emerson Academy

$29,119: N.Dayton Discovery

Private schools

$26,470: Incarnation

$24,727: Chaminade Julienne

$24,487: Carroll

$19,322: Dayton Christian

$17,613: Alter

Others

$80,010: Miami Valley CTC

$57,180: Upper Valley CC

$47,934: Warren Co. Vocational

$46,002: Greene Co. Vocational

$21,475: Dayton Regional STEM