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Callender, General Assembly Approve State Budget Bill, Fair School Funding Plan

The legislation includes school funding reform, tax relief, and budget measures benefitting localities across the state
June 28, 2021
Republican Newsroom

COLUMBUS – Today, State Rep. Jamie Callender (R-Concord) and the General Assembly passed House Bill 110, the state’s two-year operating budget for Fiscal Years 2022-2023. The legislation highlights include a new school funding reform plan, tax relief, jobs and economic support, and several other initiatives.

“This bill is a victory for every child in the state of Ohio,” Callender said. “It takes our broken, outdated, public school funding formula and replaces it with a fair, transparent, and predictable plan that gives our students and schools greater reliability than they have had in decades.”

Known as the “Fair School Funding Plan,” this proposal builds on more than three years of feedback from education professionals serving Ohio’s families and representing  the state’s diverse school districts: urban and rural, large and small. 

The Fair School Funding Plan, introduced earlier this General Assembly as House Bill 1 by Representatives Callender and Sweeney, has been a major legislative priority this session, building on strong, bipartisan momentum from last year, when it passed the House with 87 affirmative votes.. 

Introduced originally as H.B. 305, the plan’s formula for base cost includes resources for professional development for teachers addressing the health, safety, social, and emotional needs of students; academic and athletic co-curricular activities; and technology used in modern education.

The school funding proposal also ensures the distribution formula for schools emphasizes a more accurate measure school district capacity, by using both property and income wealth to determine the local share.

The Fair School Funding Plan contains aid in categories creating an equitable system of funding for our schools. These categorical aid components include gifted education, special education, English Language Learners, economically disadvantaged students, and transportation. Each component was modified with input from practitioners and children advocates from across Ohio.

Additionally, the budget bill provides targeted investments supporting Ohio jobs, businesses, and workers. This portion of the bill preferring American and Ohio products over foreign vendors competing with our homeland businesses for government procurement contracts. The legislation also focuses on workforce development by convening a committee to study workforce training for Ohioans and adding several programs to support employment opportunities.

House Bill 110 includes a series of provisions benefiting law enforcement, firefighters, and public safety officers. Some of the initiatives include security grants, school safety grants, body cameras, law enforcement training investment, firefighter grants, and funding for the Ohio Cyber Reserve.

The bill also includes a three percent, across-the-board reduction in the personal income rate. The tax reform plan simplifies the state’s tax code by compressing the number of tax brackets, from five brackets to four brackets, and zeroing out income tax obligations for workers earning less than $25,000 per year. Overall, these and other tax changes in the budget allows Ohioans to keep about $2 billion more of their earnings over the next two years.

The budget plan, formally known as House Bill 110, now heads to the governor for further action.