'Fair School Funding Plan' could negatively impact local schools

PORTSMOUTH, Ohio (WSAZ) -- As Ohio students work through assignments, a possible solution to the state's unpopular school funding system has been working through the Ohio Statehouse.

But the newly unveiled funding plan has proved to be unpopular again, especially in Portsmouth.

"We go from 57th in the state as far as poverty to 331st, and not one thing has changed other than something they did on paper,” Portsmouth City Schools Superintendent Scott Dutey said.

Under the new plan, the city school district of more than 1,700 students faces the largest drop in the state, falling 274 spots.

Something Dutey says he doesn't understand since the district deals with a high rate of poverty.

"We don't have a tax base to support our schools, we have to rely on the state,” he said.

The proposed system is especially concerning for a district where 90 percent of students receive free and reduced lunches and 27 percent of the student body has a disability.

"To teach and educate a child with a disability is very expensive, and we don't get the full funding that's available and should be available for those costs,” Dutey said.

The district is also in one of the areas hardest hit by the opioid epidemic.

"We’re dealing with children and students in this school district that have a great deal of needs, and we're the ones that have to provide those needs and meet them,” he said.

Portsmouth is currently on a guarantee, meaning their funding would not decrease, but that could change in a year if it's phased out, leading to major cuts for a district that can't take any.

"We have great teachers, great students who deserve the opportunities that every other district throughout the state of Ohio has,” Dutey said.

The proposed plan is expected to be finalized this summer before the beginning of the school year.

Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station. powered by Disqus