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Published: Friday, 9/27/2013

Perrysburg schools' state funding expected to rise more than 6 percent

BY MATT THOMPSON
BLADE STAFF WRITER

While the Perrysburg schools' state funding is expected to rise 6.25 percent this year, Superintendent of Schools Tom Hosler said Thursday the district won't know how much it will actually receive until January. 

Uncertainties start with funding preschool students and students leaving for charter schools. Last year, it cost Perrysburg $6,225.97 per preschool student. This year, it will cost the district $13,757.40 per preschooler. Mr. Hosler said he doesn't know whether the state will match that with additional funding, or whether it will come from the state funding's 6.25 percent increase.

The district's obligation to pay charter schools for their students from Perrysburg also remains to be established, although the charter schools already have sent bills to the district.

"It really was stunning to me to hear school administrators say we'll pay something for October, and if it is too much, it can be taken back in January," said Gretchen Downs, school board president. 

Perrysburg and other districts will have to document to the Ohio Department of Education how much they actually spend on preschool education. Only after that will they learn how much reimbursement they will get from the state.

The base 6.25 percent increase in state funding amounts to $498,515 for Perrysburg, representing 1.18 percent of its $41,624,443 budget for 2013-14.

Another change for the district this year is state policy on home-schooled students' participation on athletic teams. In the past, that decision was left up to individual districts, but now home-schoolers must be allowed to play as long as their grades qualify.

The problem there, Mr. Hosler said, is the potential for grading mischief by athletes' parents.

A freshman standout athlete having grades problems, the superintendent said as an example, could be pulled from classes by his or her parents to be home schooled. Then every nine weeks, when the district requires team members' grades to be checked, "the mother turns in a report card [written] in crayon."

In other business during the board meeting, 52 elementary teachers were recognized for volunteering for Orton-Gillingham summer training. The five-day training over the summer was paid for by a grant.

Contact Matt Thompson at: mthompson@theblade.com, 419-356-8786, or on Twitter at @mthompson25.


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