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Area schools face reduced funding

Education
Jul. 05, 2013 @ 11:29 PM

COAL GROVE, Ohio -- While several local school districts are expecting to get no new state funds this year, every Lawrence County district likely will face cuts in federal funds due to sequestration.

Meanwhile, Cabell County Superintendent Bill Smith said that school system in West Virginia also has been told to expect to lose some of its federal funding.

"They haven't told us how much we could expect to lose," Smith said. "We might not know until October. The federal fiscal year starts Oct. 1."

Cabell County has a couple of teachers on a reduction in force list, but Smith hopes those teachers can be brought back.

The Dawson-Bryant School District in Ohio is expecting $124,000 less in federal funds next school year, said Bradley Miller, district treasurer.

"We heard Ohio is expecting $66 million less in federal funds due to sequestration," Miller said Friday. "The state has $19 million it can use to help offset that for Ohio schools."

While districts like Fairland and Rock Hill are expected to be flat-funded -- getting the same amount this year as last year -- Dawson-Bryant is anticipating $450,000 more in state funds this year and another $82,000 on top of that next year, he said. Despite the increases, it doesn't make up for the education cuts imposed two years ago, Miller said.

Ohio schools were cut $1.6 billion two years ago, he said. "The increases help, but they haven't made us whole," he said.

Symmes Valley Superintendent Jeff Saunders said his district will get cut about $84,000 this year, wiping out an anticipated increase in state funds. "It will be a wash," he said. "The federal cuts hurt us badly."

"We also are looking to see if we could get more state transportation money," Saunders said. "Our district is 150 square miles. Our buses are going down gravel roads. We hope the state can give us a little more money."

South Point Superintendent Mark Christian said the district is facing a $130,000 cut due to federal cuts.

Gov. John Kasich signed a new $61.7 billion, two-year state budget a week ago. While some districts will get an increase in funds, others will get no more money this year. The fiscal year started July 1.

More than 70 percent of Ohio schools will receive an increase in state funds, said State Rep. Ryan Smith, R-Bidwell.

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