Funded: State Policy Analysis

A Detailed Look at Each State's Funding Policies

Below, see summaries of the state’s education funding policy in each issue area. Click the Expand icon next to any summary to see more detail, if available, about that state’s policy regarding that issue area. Click the Citation icon
next to any summary to see the sources of the information regarding that issue area.
Ohio
Funding Basics
Formula Type

Ohio has a primarily student-based funding formula. It assigns a cost to the education of a student with no special needs or services, called a base amount. It then accounts for the additional cost of educating specific categories of students both through program-specific allocations and by adding supplemental, flat dollar amounts to the base amount for certain students.

The categories of students generating supplemental funding in Ohio are students in certain grade levels, low-income students, English language learners, and students with disabilities. Services for students identified as gifted, students enrolled in career and technical education programs, and students in sparsely populated districts are funded through program-specific allocations.

The state also provides bonus funding to districts with high graduation rates and high rates of third-grade reading proficiency.

References:
Office of Budget and School Funding. Ohio Department of Education. FY16 School Finance Payment
Report. Columbus, Ohio: Ohio Department of Education, 2015.
Base Amount

Ohio has a fixed base funding amount per student. For FY2016, the per-student base amount was $5,900.

This means that an average student with no special needs or disadvantages would be funded at that level.

There is a minimum guarantee that no district can receive less in FY2016 than it did in FY2015.

References:
Office of Budget and School Funding. Ohio Department of Education. FY16 School Finance Payment
Report. Columbus, Ohio: Ohio Department of Education, 2015.
Expected Local Share

Ohio expects school districts to contribute revenue to their public schools. The amount each district is expected to raise is based on a combination of its property values and its residents’ income.

Once the state calculates the total amount of funding necessary to educate students within a district, it calculates the share of the amount that will be covered by state aid. This is accomplished through a multi-step formula that considers local property valuation per pupil compared to statewide property value per pupil, as well as local income levels, and statewide income levels. However, the state may not contribute less than 5% or more than 90% of of each district’s necessary funding, regardless of its local wealth. The rest of the district’s necessary funding is expected to be covered by local tax revenue.

Certain program-based allocations are covered entirely by the state. Additionally, the state provides separate aid, called Capacity Aid, to property-poor districts. The amount of this aid is calculated using the value that would be produced by a tax rate of $1.00 per thousand dollars of property wealth in the district; the value that would be produced by such a tax rate statewide; and the value that would be produced by such a tax in all districts with below-median property values.

References:
Office of Budget and School Funding. Ohio Department of Education. FY16 School Finance Payment
Report. Columbus, Ohio: Ohio Department of Education, 2015.
Student Characteristics
Grade Level

Ohio does not differentiate most kinds of education funding based on students’ grade levels.  However, the state does provide specific funding for students in grades K-3 to support early additional educational investment.

The funding is calculated for the pupils in grades K-3 based on a formula that takes into account enrollment in these grades and a measure of local wealth.

Specifically, the state multiplies the number of K-3 pupils in the district (excluding those enrolled in online public schools) with $121, and separately multiplies that same K-3 enrollment by $184 and then by the State Share Index, which is a measure of how much of the education funding burden should be shouldered by the state given the district’s property tax base and the residents’ income levels.  These two products are added together to produce the total amount of early education funding that the state provides to each district.

References:
Office of Budget and School Funding. Ohio Department of Education. FY16 School Finance Payment
Report. Columbus, Ohio: Ohio Department of Education, 2015.
English Language Learner

Ohio provides additional resources for English language learners.  It does so in the form of a dollar allocation for each English language learner that varies depending on the student’s education history.

English language learners are divided into three categories for the purposes of this supplemental allocation.  Students who have been enrolled in United States schools for no more than 180 days and have not previously been excused from testing in English Language Arts generate $1,515 in supplemental funding.  Students who have been enrolled in United States schools for over 180 days and have previously been excused from testing in English Language Arts generate $1,136 in supplemental funding. Students who have been enrolled in regular education programs on a trial basis and are not included in either of the first two categories generate $758 in supplemental funding.

All of these allocations are subject to Ohio’s State Share Index, which is a measure of how much of the education funding burden should be shouldered by the state given the district’s property tax base and the residents’ income levels.

References:
Office of Budget and School Funding. Ohio Department of Education. FY16 School Finance Payment
Report. Columbus, Ohio: Ohio Department of Education, 2015.
Student Poverty

Ohio does not provide a standard, higher level of funding for individual students from low-income households. However, increased funding is provided on a sliding scale based on the concentration of low-income students in the district, and every low-income student does generate some supplemental funding.  See “District Poverty” for a description of this allocation.

References:
Office of Budget and School Funding. Ohio Department of Education. FY16 School Finance Payment
Report. Columbus, Ohio: Ohio Department of Education, 2015.
Special Education

Ohio funds special education using a multiple student weights system, providing different levels of funding for different categories of students. Students are assigned to 6 different categories based on their specific disabilities.

Students are funded with category-specific flat allocations ranging from $1,547 for Category 1 to $25,134 for Category 6. Catastrophic aid provides reimbursement of at least 50% of costs exceeding $27,375 for children in Categories 2-5, or exceeding $32,850 for children in Category 6.

The remainder of state special education funding is distributed through specific program-based allocations, including allocations for special education transportation and scholarships of up to $20,000 apiece for children with autism to attend school outside their districts of residency.

Gifted

Ohio provides additional resources for gifted and talented students. It does so through three program-based allocations that are calculated based on districts’ total enrollment.

Funding for Gifted Coordinator positions is allocated based on an assumed salary of $37,370 for each coordinator, with funding for one coordinator provided for every 3,300 students in the district. Funding for Gifted Intervention Specialist positions is also allocated based on an assumed salary of $37,370 for each specialist, with funding for one specialist provided for every 3,300 students in the district.

The state formula sets the minimum number of required coordinators at 0.5 and the maximum number at 8.  It also sets the minimum number of required specialists at 0.3.

References:
Office of Budget and School Funding. Ohio Department of Education. FY16 School Finance Payment
Report. Columbus, Ohio: Ohio Department of Education, 2015.
Career and Technical Education

Ohio provides specific funding for career and technical education (CTE) programs. It does so through a per-student allocation that varies depending on the particular career area that the student is studying, and a flat allocation of $236 per student in any CTE program given to each lead district, a district providing primary CTE leadership and services for a consortium of districts.

Workforce development programs in Ohio are grouped into five categories for the purposes of this per-student funding. Per-pupil allocations range from $1,258 to $4,992. However, these per-pupil amounts are subject to Ohio’s State Share Index, which is a measure of how much of the education funding burden should be shouldered by the state given the district’s property tax base and the residents’ income levels.

Category 1 programs, funded at $4,992 per pupil, are those focusing on agriculture and environmental systems, construction technologies, engineering and science technologies, finance, health science, information technology, and manufacturing technology. Category 2 programs, funded at $4,732 per pupil, are those focusing on business administration, hospitality and tourism, human services, law and public safety, transportation systems, and arts and communications. Category 3 programs, funded at $1,726 per pupil, are career-based intervention programs. Category 4 programs, funded at $1,466 per pupil, are those focusing on education and training, marketing, academics, public administration, and career development. Category 5 programs, funded at $1,258 per pupil, are family and consumer science programs.

References:
Office of Budget and School Funding. Ohio Department of Education. FY16 School Finance Payment
Report. Columbus, Ohio: Ohio Department of Education, 2015.
Community Characteristics
District Poverty

Ohio provides increased funding to certain districts based on the concentrations of students from low-income households that they serve and their communities’ levels of need. It does so in the form of two allocations: one that is sensitive to the district’s poverty rate relative to the poverty rate of the state as a whole, and one that is sensitive to the district’s level of community wealth relative to the wealth in other districts.

The poverty-rate-based funding, which is called Economically Disadvantaged funding, uses a count of students who are eligible for free- or reduced-price lunch under the National School Lunch Program; those who are known to be recipients of public assistance; and those meeting federal Title I income guidelines. The state provides an amount to each district equal to $272 for each such student, multiplied by a poverty index. The poverty index is the square of the ratio of the individual district’s poverty percentage to the statewide poverty percentage.

The community-wealth-based funding, which is called Targeted Assistance, is calculated using a multi-step formula. The first element of the formula is a per-student local wealth measure based equally on local property valuation and local household income. This figure is divided by a parallel statewide measure to produce a wealth index. The formula uses this information, along with information about general district enrollment and about the proportion of property in the district classified as agricultural real property, to provide supplementary funding to those districts with local wealth levels below a threshold level.

References:
Office of Budget and School Funding. Ohio Department of Education. FY16 School Finance Payment
Report. Columbus, Ohio: Ohio Department of Education, 2015.
Sparsity and/or Small Size

Ohio provides increased funding for sparse school districts through its transportation funding system.

As a part of a larger transportation funding system, the state provides supplemental transportation funding for districts with fewer than 35 students per square mile. The amount of the funding is equal to the difference between 35 and the district’s actual number of students per square mile, multiplied by the state’s regular rate of transportation funding per-mile, and then multiplied by .55.

References:
Office of Budget and School Funding. Ohio Department of Education. FY16 School Finance Payment
Report. Columbus, Ohio: Ohio Department of Education, 2015.