Fair Funding for Education

Governor Reinforces Budget Supports
Posted on 03/26/2019
Image of Gov. Mike DeWineGov. Mike DeWine lobbied children’s advocates Monday for help persuading lawmakers to fund his budget agenda for Ohio’s neediest children.

Speaking at an Ohio Children’s Trust Fund event marking April as Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Month, DeWine said state investments to improve the lives of children are among the most vital items in his proposed two-year state operating budget.

The governor told an audience of about 200 in the Statehouse atrium to contact legislators to express their support for his agenda on behalf of children.

DeWine requested an increase of $300 million over current levels that would be targeted at school districts with children living in poverty to help cover the cost of “wrap-around” services such as health care, mental-health counseling, mentoring, after-school programs and more.

The money will free up teachers to teach while giving children help they need to perform better in the classroom, the governor said. “This will get them up to the starting line so they have a chance to succeed,” he said.

With the House scheduled to unveil its revamp of Ohio’s school-funding setup today, DeWine asked lawmakers to keep the $300 million he earmarked for needy students separate from the formula. Districts with high numbers of impoverished students, such as Columbus, would receive the maximum $250 per pupil in “student wellness” funding.

The Republican also wants a $74 million annual increase for family and children services agencies to help improve a system choked with foster children whose parents are addicted to opioids and other drugs.

DeWine also wants to spend $50 million to triple home-visitation programs in which counselors work with pregnant women and new mothers, babies and young children to help reduce infant mortality and improve school readiness.

He also has outlined how he would provide an extra $24 million to cover the health-care needs of children poisoned by lead paint and setting aside $10 million in Medicaid funds to help abate lead in affected homes.
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