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Will Federal Education Aid Offset Cuts To Ohio's Schools?

School buses line up at Centerville department of education transportation headquarters.
Jess Mador
/
WYSO

In early May, Governor Mike DeWine announced $300 million in cuts to K-12 schools. While about $500 million in federal dollars have been allocated to Ohio’s schools through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, also known as the CARES Act, those funds will not necessarily counteract the budget cuts for local school districts. 

Bellbrook-Sugarcreek School District is set to lose over $650,000 because of the state budget cuts. In a press release, the district said it hoped to make up for about 25 percent of those losses with CARES Act funding. 

But Stephen Dyer, Education Policy Fellow with Innovation Ohio, said the CARES Act funds need to be used for COVID-19 related expenses.

“It's going to have to be used on technology or additional cleaning or something related to Covid,” he said. “It's not going to be able to keep Miss Harris in the third-grade classroom instead of letting her go.”

He said the budget cuts cannot simply be offset by CARES Act funding unless the federal government lifts the restrictions on the money.