Seven CCS schools receive $20 million in SIG funds

“Eraser finished with cleaning chalkboard” from Flickr user frozenchipmunk.

The Ohio Department of Education (ODE) announced that 42 Ohio schools will receive $95 million in School Improvement Grant (SIG) monies over the next three years. A total of seven of the 42 schools are from the Columbus City School district.

SIG grants differ from the Race to the Top program. Rather than entire school districts receiving SIG funds, specific school buildings will receive federal monies.  According to the US Department of Education, SIG grants are used to improve student achievement in Title I schools identified for improvement, corrective action, or restructuring so as to enable those schools to make Adequate Yearly Progress and exit improvement status.

Federal grant guidelines defined the eligibility of schools to apply for SIG monies. All eligible schools in states that applied for SIG funds were put in one of three Tiers. Tier I schools were defined by the federal government as the lowest achieving five percent of schools receiving Title I funds and were in school improvement. Secondary schools receiving Title I funds that had a five year graduation rate of less than 60 percent were also in this category. The National Education Association, Ohio Education Association and Columbus Education Association define these institutions as “Priority Schools”.

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Proposed Budget Sent To Governor Strickland

Ohio House and Senate legislators ended nearly two weeks of Conference Committee meetings when they sent Governor Ted Strickland a balanced budget Monday afternoon. The two-year, $50.5 billion budget does not raise taxes on Ohioans despite falling state revenues.

“The Budget Committee just passed a balanced budget that doesn’t raise taxes,” responded Strickland through Twitter Monday afternoon, “while investing in education to revive our economy.”

State aid to districts decline slightly; stimulus to supplement

In the version of the budget sent to the Governor, school districts across Ohio will receive a total of $6.526 billion in state aid for FY 2010, a decline of less than $20 million from FY 2009. An additional $394 million in federal stimulus money will be distributed to districts, increasing the overall monies spent on education by roughly five percent. In FY 2011, school districts throughout the state will receive a total of $6.510 billion from the state, supplemented with $394 million of federal stimulus funds. Overall state spending on education from FY 2010 to FY2011 will decline by a quarter of a percent, but still represents greater than a five percent increase for the two years compared to FY 2009.

Governor’s Evidence Based Model to assist funding

One component of Strickland’s Ohio Evidence Based Model (OEBM) for funding that will play a role for this budget biennium is the Ohio Education Challenge Factor (OECF). The OECF is best described as a funding multiplier– this numeric value accounts for the various academic and financial characteristics that pertain to the residents of each school district. Property-rich districts with a high percentage of college-educated residents are given a lower OECF. Less financially secure districts with lower percentage of college educated residents are given a higher OECF.  Values throughout the state range from Upper Arlington (0.76) to East Cleveland (1.58).

Columbus City Schools to see projected funding increase

With an OECF of 1.22, Columbus City Schools will receive roughly $250,000 less in state aid during FY 2010. This amounts to roughly a tenth of a percent decrease in state aid when compared to FY 2009. Over the next two years, CCS will receive in excess of $60 million in Title I and IDEA Federal Stimulus money. After adding the Federal Stimulus money, CCS is projected to receive a 13 percent funding increase in FY 2010, nearly three times greater than the state average.

CCS May Get $110 Million Extra From Feds

If Congress passes the $825 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act as it is currently proposed, Columbus City Schools could receive $110 million in additional federal funding over the next two years, according to published reports.

 

According to a published draft allocation estimate summary from the House Committee on Education and Labor, in 2010, CCS would see $21.3 million in additional Title I-A dollars, an increase by $45.9 million in construction money and $9.9 million in more funding for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Federal funding would increase by $77 million dollars for 2009. Increases in federal spending for 2010 would total $32.8 million.