Budgets for local schools are set to see significant cuts by the state in an effort to try and offset revenue losses amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
In Stark County, Jackson and Plain Local Schools will see the largest budget cut. Jackson will lose $1.4 million, a 19% cut in state funding and Plain Local will lose $1.3 million, representing a 6% cut in state funding. The breakdown came Wednesday from the state after Governor Mike DeWine announced a $300 million reductions in spending for K-12 schools including public, charter, and private. Officials explained that the cuts will take place immediately.
Budget cuts also extend to every school district in Tuscarawas County.
Officials explained that the state’s budget is made up mostly of two sources – income taxes, which are tied to employment, and sales tax, which is linked to commercial activity. Both of which have been significantly impacted as a result of the current health crisis.
Additionally, DeWine indicated the state will not tap into its rainy-day fund just yet, which contains $2.7 billion. He noted he expects those dollars to be needed in the future. The state is required, by the state Constitution, to balance its budget by the end of each fiscal year, which ends on June 30th. During the announcement, DeWine also noted education funding cuts have been weighted to relatively spare poor schools. He also indicated schools will be allocated money from the CARES Act, the federal coronavirus relief bill, with a goal to try and offset some of the lost funds.