At John Kasich’s big school funding town hall on Thursday, the governor promised school superintendents that his new budget wouldn’t reduce funding below last year’s levels.
Schools officials weren’t exactly jumping up and down with excitement at the news since many are still dealing with the $1.8 Billion in lost funding from Kasich’s first budget.
But there’s a catch.
During his town hall the ever-confident Kasich was already making predictions about his NEXT budget – the one he will be preparing if he wins reelection in 2014. And the news was not nearly as good.
Kasich and his education team made it very clear that existing funding “guarantees” would be going away.
To help schools prepare for these massive cuts in his next budget, Kasich set aside $300 million of his current budget for something called the Straight-A fund. In order to receive the money, schools will be required to compete by submitting proposals that will cut costs at their schools, readying them for the big funding cuts looming on the horizon.
Kasich provided some examples of projects he’d like to see funded, like increasing class sizes or displacing teachers through the introduction of additional technology in the classroom.
“For example, you could pay a really quality teacher to teach two or three classes (at the same time),” Said Kasich. “which really saves you money and yet rewards a teacher who’s really excellent.”
Kasich’s message to schools and the parents around the state is clear: figure out a way to cut costs now, preferably by firing teachers, because if you reelect me in 2014 I am going to cut the crap out of your state funding.