The most recent changes to the state's school funding bill don't benefit Dublin City Schools.

The most recent changes to the state's school funding bill don't benefit Dublin City Schools.

Changes recently made to Gov. Ted Strickland's school funding plan by the House of Representatives would provide less state funding to Dublin schools, especially when Strickland's plan calls for expensive additions, district treasurer Stephen Osborne said.

The bill is expected to pass the House this week and move on to the Senate.

According to Osborne, the biggest change made by House Democrats puts more emphasis on a district's property values.

Each district has been assigned an index number between 0.75 and 1.65, with higher numbers for districts that have lower property values. This was a change from the Strickland plan, which proposed a smaller range of 0.9 to 1.65.

"Certainly one of the big changes we were a little disappointed in was the change to the index number," Osborne said. "We were one of the larger school districts to lose a large amount of funding. They reduced the index from 1.0355 to 0.8675 and that number is what is used to multiply against the salary formula. It puts more emphasis on property values. That reduction in the substitute version of House Bill 1 continues to place the burden on residents."

While the district would be forced to pay more of its expenses through local taxes with the new bill, the new plan also does not take into account funding for a higher student-teacher ratio or all-day kindergarten, Osborne said.

According to Osborne, the district would need more teachers at the elementary level to meet Strickland's proposed student-teacher ratio. It would also need more staff and space to expand the district's current half-day kindergarten to all day.

"We need an additional 20 teachers and classrooms with going to all-day kindergarten," Osborne said. "The new formula still would not fund those."

Other parts of Strickland's education plan that the bill leaves unfunded is an extended school year -- plans are to have students in the classroom for an additional 20 days.

"It does add to the number of days students are in school with no more funding," Osborne said.

Strickland's plans also calls for additions to gifted programs. Osborne said Dublin already shoulders most of the financial burden for that.

"We're already covering the gifted with already limited state funding," he said. "Anything added on top of that (to the program) is additional funding."

Osborne said the district has relayed its concerns to local legislators.

"We're very appreciative to all area legislators who have talked to us," he said. "They're getting our concerns."

Osborne said he expects more changes from Republicans once the bill reaches the Senate.

"It's still a work in progress," he said. "Anything we can get to benefit our district and our taxpayers we will advocate."

jnoblit@

thisweeknews.com