Gov. John Kasich has submitted his two-year budget proposal and the plan includes budget increases for local districts.

The budget still has to undergo scrutiny by the Ohio legislature, which could result in changes to the proposed plan.

 “There is about $700 million in new K-12 funding in this budget on top of the $1 billion provided in the last budget,” said Dan Caterinicchia, special advisor to the director, Ohio Office of Budget and Management.

In the proposed plan, there are increases for Northwestern, Tecumseh, Greenon and Bethel local school districts.

Northwestern would see a 2.5 percent increase for 2016-17 and 0.7 percent for 2017-18.

Tecumseh would see a 0.2 percent increase for 2016-17 and 1.7 percent for 2017-18.

Greenon would see a 3 percent increase for 2016-17 and 0.82 percent for 2017-18.

Bethal would see a 3.7 percent increase for 2016-17 and 4 percent for 2017-18.

The district superintendents are cautiously optimistic about the proposed budget increases.

 “It’s important to keep in mind that the budget process is long and the original proposal is likely to undergo several changes along the way,” Virginia Potter, Bethel superintendent said. “The provisions and even the method for how the final budget was determined could easily change between now and when the Governor signs it into law. Therefore, I hesitate to make a judgment call on this new school budget.”

Potter said the Bethel would focus on upgrading curriculum and technology with any budget increases.

 “If we in fact receive an increase in state funding, the monies will allow us to both maintain and improve upon our current programs,” said Tony Orr, Northwestern superintendent. “Unfunded mandates negatively affect school budgets. As a result, we remain cautious in our spending while trying to meet the needs of our students so that they can excel academically. “

Potter does think Bethel could use more money for its district.

 “I do not think that the state provides our district with sufficient funds,” Potter said. “Currently Bethel receives from the state about 1/3 of the money needed to educate children.  The other 2/3’s of the money falls upon the district’s taxpayers to make sure that students in their district are receiving the quality education they deserve.”

Bethel raises money with levies, grants and federal programs, Potter said.

Northwestern receives state, local and federal funding, Orr said.

Tecumseh and Greenon superintendent did not respond to requests for interviews from the New Carlisle News.

For more information on Gov. Kasich’s proposed budget, visit http://obm.ohio.gov.

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