Amid all the talk from Gov. John Kasich and Senate President Keith Faber about their "historic" increases and commitment to K-12 education in the current FY14-FY15 budget, I and others have pointed out that the only reason they can make such claims is because of their even bigger historical cuts to education in Kasich's first budget.
Well, data from the Ohio Department of Education has demonstrated that fact emphatically. The Total State Revenue data available at the ODE website shows that in FY11 -- the year before Kasich's historic cut to education -- districts received record level of state revenue -- more than $8.1 billion.
FY12 (2011-2012 school year), which was the first year under Kasich's budget, saw a total of $7.52 billion in total state revenues. That's an 8% cut in total state revenue -- easily the largest cut since ODE started keeping these total state revenue figures in 1995.
And the bad news for districts is that FY12 won't represent the entire state divestment from education during Kasich's first budget. That's because the governor's budget phased down the Tangible Personal Property and Killowatt Hour tax reimbursement payments over two years. So the cut will be likely continued in FY13, pushing the total revenue figure down even lower.
As it stands, that $7.52 billion is the lowest amount provided by the state since the 2007-2008 school year.
So the next time state leaders claim their undying commitment to public education, look to the numbers, for they will tell you all you need to know.