Dear Sisters and Brothers,

This week, Republican Gov. Mike DeWine previewed his two-year state budget in his State of the State speech. The plan seeks to spend nearly $87 billion over two years.

The Office of Budget and Management said the plan includes a one-time investment of $2.5 billion in the newly announced All Ohio Future Fund for large economic development sites around Ohio to attract new business. These funds will be used to prepare the infrastructure of large economic development sites located in every single part of Ohio. With the development of these sites, every single Ohio citizen will be within commuting distance of at least one of these sites.

When it comes to education, DeWine called for the inclusion of the Fair School Funding Plan started two years ago and an expansion of income based EdChoice private school vouchers.

Ohio Federation of Teachers President and Ohio AFL-CIO Secretary Treasurer joined the Ohio Organizing Collaborative, Policy Matters Ohio and Ohio Education Association releasing the following statement on education:

  • No matter where they live or what they look like, all of Ohio’s kids deserve a public school that inspires their creativity, unlocks their potential, and nurtures their dreams. But according to the EdWeek Research Center, Ohio is among the least equitable states for education resource distribution in the country. While we recognize Governor DeWine’s commitment to continuing implementation of the Cupp-Patterson school funding formula, also known as the Fair School Funding Plan, we are calling on Ohio’s lawmakers to take bold action and implement full funding for that plan.
  • Fully and fairly funding Ohio’s public schools will give school districts a permanent, adequate, stable funding stream that will allow them to make necessary investments to meet the needs of students and address education staffing shortages. Legislators should also avoid competing funding obligations, such as an expansion of private school vouchers or charter schools, that would hinder our ability to fully fund the public schools that 90% of Ohio students attend.

Other budget items the Ohio AFL-CIO will be focusing on:

Affordable housing.

  • Elimination of the state sales tax on baby products, which is estimated to cost the state $16 million
  • $2500 per child state tax deduction, which is not refundable
  • $300 million investment in career tech programs
  • $40 million for training Ohio law enforcement officers
    additional $3,000 for each economically disadvantaged student in charter schools
    increases per-pupil facilities funding for all charters from $500 to $1000
  • $5,000/year scholarship for high school graduates in the top 10% of their classes who go to Ohio colleges/universities
    increasing funding for libraries from 1.66% of general revenue fund tax revenue to 1.7%
  • $100 million per year for low income housing tax credits
  • $200 million total for single family housing tax credits

In Solidarity,

Tim Burga, President