Last week, a bill that creates a new school financing system was introduced in the Ohio House of Representatives. House Bill 305’s (HB 305) primary sponsors—Reps. Robert Cupp and John Patterson—have worked for the past two years to rewrite the state’s school funding formula. That plan, the Fair School Funding Plan, has been revised since its March rollout to address criticisms that the plan did not fairly fund high-poverty urban and poor rural schools. In addition to those changes, HB 305 incorporates a longer phase-in period of six years, instead of four, to ease the need for large cash infusions to fund the plan.
The standalone bill has co-sponsorships from two thirds of House members. Reps. Cupp and Patterson are aiming to begin hearings this summer in order to see their formula take effect sometime in the upcoming biennium. Proposed funding for wraparound student services in the state’s biennial budget proposal still remains uncertain. The State has passed a temporary budget while negotiations continue.