ADAMS TOWNSHIP — Under Ohio’s new Fair School Funding Plan formula for allocating state dollars to local school districts, the increase in state funds for Clinton-Massie is “very, very small,” said Supt. Matt Baker.

Clinton-Massie Local Schools Treasurer Carrie Bir said the difference between fiscal year 2022 (FY 22) and fiscal year 2023 (FY 23) is “like $2,000.”

She said the new formula, sometimes called the Cupp-Patterson funding model, calculates the local capacity to support schools as being based on 60 percent local property valuation and 40 percent income.

The idea of the funding model, according to its proponents, is to have the state take into account both local property values and resident income to identify each district’s capacity to pay their fair share.

As for why Clinton-Massie’s increase in state dollars is so small under the state’s new funding formula, Baker said there are many factors involved, but he would point toward a quotation from a policy analyst for the Ohio Education Association (OEA), a teacher’s union, which can be found on the ideastream public media website.

OEA policy analyst Steve Dyer’s quotation is: “Two-thirds of the new revenue goes to the poorest districts in the state. The largest per-pupil increase, on average, is in the Big 8 urban districts. The largest average percentage increase is in the smaller urban districts, places like Mansfield and Warren … it’s being directed to the districts that need it the most and are least able to raise local revenue to pay for it.”

Baker followed up Dyer’s quote by saying, “We do not qualify as a ‘Big 8’ or smaller urban school district.”

Also from Monday night’s school board meeting, VSWC Architects with offices in Mason is approved to lead the design and survey work for a campus master plan of outdoor spaces.

Acting upon a master plan and renovating some of Clinton-Massie’s outdoor spaces over time would presumably rely on donations, and CM Board of Education President Jeremy Lamb said he has been putting feelers out to see whether people are interested.

Lamb thinks there is “a lot of positive energy out there for some site improvements.”

The superintendent added a jovial and hopeful comment, “We’re open to large donations.”

In a 24-month assessment after having added full-day kindergarten in the district, Baker said they are already seeing its educational benefits and it is paying for itself through increased enrollment.

In a public recognition, the school board presented a Consistently Making A Difference (CMAD) Award to Clinton-Massie District School Nurse Cindy Stenger.

The board president said Stenger has led the district in health initiatives and wellness coordination for over 20 years. Through the pandemic, her leadership and tireless efforts have been integral in allowing the district to hold five days a week of in-person learning from the start of the 2021 school year, said Lamb.

Stenger helped parents work through the quarantine requirements, and without her the pandemic would have claimed more days away from instruction for students, the commendation stated.

There was also appreciation expressed for her ability to obtain funds for special projects including an outdoor exercise area, for which she has secured $27,200 from five different entities.

And recently Stenger led her team to apply for Clinton County LEGACY Fund dollars, with CM awarded $20,000 to go toward interior components and furnishings for a planned school-based health center.

Also, during the years 2016 to 2020, she helped the district receive $40,865 in wellness funds for exercise equipment and other health equipment replacement.

The board decided Monday to start its monthly regular board meetings at 6:30 p.m. rather than 7:30 p.m. The sessions are normally held on the third Monday.

Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.

From left are Clinton-Massie school board members Mike Goodall, Kathleen Norman, Jeremy Lamb and Andy Avery, with “Consistently Making A Difference” award honoree Cindy Stenger, district school nurse. left are Clinton-Massie school board members Mike Goodall, Kathleen Norman, Jeremy Lamb and Andy Avery, with “Consistently Making A Difference” award honoree Cindy Stenger, district school nurse. Gary Huffenberger |News Journal
Legislature commits to funding plan for 2 years

By Gary Huffenberger

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