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Kasich Releases Details on 2014-15 Budget

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An enourmous sum of $100 billion, including large tax cuts and plans for education reform, also known as Gov. John Kasich’s 2014-2015 budget, has prompted a large-scale debate about the future of Ohio’s economy.

In addition to the proposals, Kasich also has The Budget of Stabilization Fund, known as the “Rainy Day Fund.” This fund currently holds $482 million and accounts for 1.8 percent of Ohio’s annual revenue, said Deputy Director for Communications Dave Pagnard.

“The Budget of Stabilization Fund is a savings account for a rainy day, if the economy would suddenly drop out from under us, then we would have to rely on this fund to balance the budget,” said Pagnard. He said that every government has some version of this account.

While this fund has grown exponentially from a dismal total of 89 cents from two years ago, Kasich has received a lot of criticism for other economical decisions, including cuts to education.

After Kasich unveiled his last budget, he faced criticism for the cuts to education and the impact the budget would have on schools. Kasich is a known advocate for both charter schools and voucher programs.

Some feel, however, that even though Kasich’s budget does include funding for schools, there will not be much of a difference after the budget is in effect.

“We’re not expecting much additional resources, but we’re hoping for some,” said Head of the Ohio Association of School Business Officials Dan Varda.

Contrary to the low expectations, Kasich has vowed to address the issue of education funding.  “In terms of school funding, one thing I’ve said is I want every child, no matter where they live, no matter what the wealth is in their district, to be able to compete effectively with the child in every other district,” said Kasich.

That being said, Kasich’s Office of Budget and Management Director Tim Keen told the Gongwer News Service that some of the funding would target poorer districts. Keen went on to mention that the funding would target resources to those districts to provide students with a quality education.

In addition to funding grade schools, Kasich also has a plan to fund colleges. The Dayton News Daily reported that Kasich challenged universities to come up with different proposals for higher education funding.  Kasich has stated that he will use the report to incorporate $1.75 billion for higher education funding in the upcoming budget.

Despite releasing some details of what the budget will contain, Pagnard noted that the specifics for the budget and education funding will not be released until Feb. 4, which is when Kasich plans to present his proposal.

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