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Ohio Senate Budget Proposal to Negatively Impact Cincinnati Public Schools’ 36,000 Students

For Immediate Release: June 9, 2023

Ohio Senate Budget Proposal to Negatively Impact Cincinnati Public Schools’ 36,000 Students

Cincinnati, Ohio (June 9, 2023) – Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS) Superintendent and CEO Iranetta Rayborn Wright is urging the Ohio Senate Finance Committee to reconsider or amend the recommended changes to Ohio House Bill 33 (HB 33) which significantly reduces revenue projections for CPS and many other districts across Ohio. Based on the initial Ohio House Budget Proposal, CPS has been diligently preparing a balanced budget to meet the quality of education expected by families to support students. Many of the compromises that demonstrated bipartisanship in the original Ohio House Bill 33 have been changed, and most notably, changing the funding formula. These changes not only pose a significant revenue reduction based on forecasts, but force school districts to quickly rework their budgets, update plans and consider programming changes before school begins in August. 

While the Senate is proposing to maintain FY2022 base levels, they recommend the elimination of the supplemental targeted assistance, which is provided to districts that fall below a certain wealth threshold. The changes to the index calculation will cause a substantial, negative impact to not only CPS revenue, but for most urban, rural and suburban school districts across the state. In essence, CPS is asking the Ohio Senate Finance Committee to return the median income calculation to the former wealth index. 

“Cincinnati Public Schools has long been committed to fostering excellence in education and ensuring that every student receives an equal opportunity to succeed. HB 33 was a good starting point, but the Senate’s proposed budget changes will ultimately put a greater burden on local taxpayers,” Cincinnati Public Schools Superintendent and CEO Iranetta Rayborn Wright said. “Based on the House Bill, we anticipated a projected increase in revenue between $12 and $17 million. The Senate’s current recommendations show a revenue increase of just over $6 million. For decades, school district funding has not kept pace with inflation and cost of living increases. If implemented, these changes would not allow our district, and many others, to optimize and improve programming to raise achievement levels and support our staff as intended.”

Under the Senate’s budget proposal, CPS projections show the district will receive an estimated $14 million less in revenue, as compared to HB 33. As an example, a reduction of this magnitude is equivalent to staffing approximately 140 teachers. Additionally, the Senate recommends restoring mandatory retention provisions under the Third Grade Reading Guarantee that was proposed to be eliminated in the House version. As Ohio, and many other school districts committed to the Science of Reading, the Senate's proposed reductions in revenue and changing the formula will not be advantageous to add programming and intervention support in the classrooms. 

Another area of concern is the removal of the comprehensive cost study for economically disadvantaged students. For urban school districts like CPS, understanding how services and resources cause inequities that increase racial disparities is necessary to improve whole child services and raise student performance. Ohio’s largest school districts need the funding for a comprehensive cost study for economically disadvantaged students intact for the coming school year. 

Superintendent Wright added, “I am encouraging other Ohio superintendents to share their concerns with their senators. Our collective recommendations should begin with aligning the funding calculation to the original house bill that was designed to support the majority of Ohio’s students. I am also asking local constituents to contact their legislators to convey their concerns about the consequences of the Ohio Senate Finance Committee’s recommended changes to HB 33.”



About Cincinnati Public Schools

The Cincinnati City School District, also known as Cincinnati Public Schools serves about 36,000 students in over 65 schools spread across southwest Ohio. CPS is Greater Cincinnati's largest, and Ohio's second largest school district. CPS offers families high-quality educational choices and a variety of academic programs. With a focus on Academics, Behavior and Culture, CPS is committed to developing the whole child, ensuring students thrive and graduate prepared to enroll in college, enlist in the military or become gainfully employed. For more information visit