The Grandview Heights City School District will see the amount of state funding it receives fall by 1 percent in fiscal year 2010 and 2 percent in 2011 under the two-year state budget.

The Grandview Heights City School District will see the amount of state funding it receives fall by 1 percent in fiscal year 2010 and 2 percent in 2011 under the two-year state budget.

The district received an estimated $1,640,425 in fiscal year 2009. That total will drop to an estimated $1,624,020 in 2010 and $1,591,540 in 2011.

Grandview is being penalized by a reformulation of the Educational Challenge Factor (ECF), Superintendent Ed O'Reilly said.

The ECF is a mechanism that helps determine the amount of state funding a district receives. A reduced ECF equates to a direct loss in state funding.

The district's ECF was reduced by about 11.5 percent largely because of the relatively high assessed value of properties in the area, O'Reilly said.

"What I've been telling people since (the budget process) started is we will continue to have to rely on our local taxpayers to fund our schools," he said. "I'm not relying on any additional help from the state. I don't believe we're going to get any part of the increased state funding."

It appears that since Grandview has high property values, the state believes it can and/or should be able to get by with less state funding, O'Reilly said.

"It's kind of the 'Robin Hood' theory, isn't it," he said, based on the belief that "people here can afford it.

"The current system of school funding was called unconstitutional because of an over-reliance on property taxes," O'Reilly said. "I don't see how (the new state funding formula) will reduce our district's reliance on property taxes. My major concern for taxpayers in our district is that we will end up becoming more reliant on them to fund our schools."

The district will receive about $350,000 in federal stimulus money, O'Reilly said. Most of that funding will be restricted for use to benefit special needs students.

In addition, the state has replaced about 6 percent of the funding base it will be providing districts during the next two years with federal stimulus money, O'Reilly said.

"I don't know after the second year (of the biennial budget) what will happen to the state funding guarantee numbers," he said.

Another concern O'Reilly has relates to potential changes in how the state determines districts' class sizes.

The student to teacher ratio has usually been computed using all certified staff members, including nurses and specialized teachers who work with small numbers of students, such as those with special needs, he said.

Those kind of staff members may no longer be used to determine a school's student to teacher ratio, increasing the possibility that the district could have to hire more teachers to meet student to teacher ratio standards, O'Reilly said.

The new state budget requires districts to offer parents the option of all-day kindergarten classes beginning in the fall of 2010.

Grandview already offers all day classes and parents who enroll their children for the full day are charged a fee to pay the cost of operating the class for an additional half-day.

The state is allowing districts that previously charged a kindergarten fee to continue to do so, and the Grandview board will have to decide before next spring whether to continue to charge that fee for the 2010-11 school year, O'Reilly said.

No changes in district operations or policy will be needed this school year because of the state budget, he said.

Another decision looming next year for the school board will be whether the district should place a levy on the November 2010 ballot or if it can wait another year, O'Reilly said.

"Our latest five year forecast shows we'll be out of money in two years," he said.

The district has been able to stretch its last levy, which voters approved in 2005, well beyond its anticipated three years, O'Reilly said.

The five-year permanent improvement component of the levy will expire at the end of next year, he said.