Wilson pleasantly surprised by Kasich plan

SALINEVILLE-When Southern Local Superintendent John Wilson attended Governor John Kasich’s unveiling of his new school funding plan in Columbus last Thursday he did not have high hopes for what he was about to hear. “I was expecting the worst,” said Wilson during his report to the Board of Education Tuesday night.

With recent reductions in state funding to schools on his mind, Wilson was understandably apprehensive about what the new plan might entail. However, according to Wilson, upon first glance there appears to be nothing to fear and maybe even some things to be optimistic about in the Governor’s new plan.

Despite past funding cuts, Kasich’s new plan features proposed 5.9% and 3.2% base spending increases for fiscal year 2014 and 2015. Not only does the plan feature funding increases for certain schools, but it emphasizes increased funding for “low wealth” districts. According to Wilson Southern district will likely qualify for the ‘low wealth’ designation, although the means for determining that designation are not yet known.

Perhaps the most relieving news to superintendents everywhere was the promise by Kasich that no district will receive less funding than they do in the 2013 fiscal year. “His main message was they want to see dollars go into classrooms,” said Wilson summing up Kasich’s speech.

Wilson also cautioned that Kasich’s plan is not yet fully known and he has not yet found out what the plan will mean specifically for the school district. He added that the district should receive a spread sheet soon detailing the district’s funding for coming years. “It’s pretty positive what came out of Columbus for a change,” said Wilson.

In other Board of Education business:

*Board approved to raise substitute rates for aides, cafeteria workers, and secretaries to $7.85

* Board approved memo of understanding between the Columbiana County Mental Health Clinic and the Southern Local School District to provide mental health services on site.

*Board approved to authorize treasurer to advertise bids for the new football field renovation, bleacher renovation, fencing renovation, pole/ storage building and parking lots.

* Board approved to advertise moving two inside mills to the Permanent Improvement fund.

*Board approved the following coaches for the 2012-2013 school year:

Brain Spahlinger as volunteer baseball coach

Cory Leek as softball assistant coach

Kyle Bing as head boys track coach

Jess Krulik as head girls track coach

*Board approved the following substitutes:

Kathy Lynn Randolph, teacher

Deanna Beadnell, secretarial

Nicole Vest, cafeteria and custodian