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State of Ohio to Help Schools Make up for Federal Sequestration Cuts to Education

Release date: 7/1/2013

COLUMBUS, OH – The Ohio Department Education announced Monday that it is allocating a total of $19 million to minimize the impact of federal sequestration cuts on Ohio schools. The sequestration and its resulting cuts in federal education funding are the result of acts passed by Congress and signed by President Obama in 2011 and 2012.

Superintendent of Public Instruction Richard A. Ross said Monday that the Department is reallocating $11 million of unused federal funds for special education and $8 million for Title 1  math and reading intervention programs to reduce the impact of the federal cuts in these two programs.

“While school districts in Ohio have anticipated and planned for these Federal reductions in funding, we felt it was important to do all we could to ease the impact and lessen the effect those cuts will have on schools and the students they serve," Ross said.

Overall, federally funded K-12 programs in Ohio will experience a $65.7 million cut to federal funds as a result of the sequestration spending cut imposed earlier this year. This equates to a 5.24 percent average reduction in federal support for all districts across 14 different programs. The state reallocation announced today significantly reduces the overall impact on Ohio to an average of 3.6 percent.

The $11 million in special education funds come from special project funds that were awarded but not drawn down in previous years. They will be distributed to all districts using a federal funding formula. The $8 million in Title 1 funds were originally awarded to now-closed community schools. In accordance with federal guidelines, these dollars will be distributed to the traditional school district where the community school was located.

Generally, the federal cuts impact programs designed to help economically disadvantaged students and struggling schools. Programs that are being cut by the federal sequestration include preschool, after-school and migrant education programs. Programs for homeless students and English language acquisition also are being reduced.

The specific impact of the federal cuts will vary by program and other factors such as changes in student enrollment. However, depending upon local decisions, services and staffing could be reduced. Districts have been informed of the 5.24 percent cut due to sequestration and the state’s reallocation plan to help ease the impact.  They will receive information soon about their eligibility for a portion of the $19 million that will be returned from ODE.