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Three area superintendents spent time Tuesday in front of the Ohio House Primary and Secondary Education Subcommittee of the House Finance and Appropriations Committee.
Morgan Local Schools Lori Snyder-Lowe, Tri-Valley's Mark Neal and Northern Local's Tom Perkins testified as part of CORAS, the Coalition of Rural and Appalachian Schools. They were just some of at least 100 educators that took part.
Neal told lawmakers, "Rural districts should be the model for efficiency in public education. The new budget fails to recognize any of the efficiencies we have achieved while lavishing millions of dollars on low-performing, high cost districts that already spend almost twice as much per pupil as their rural counterparts."
CORAS President and Morgan Local Superintendent Lori Snyder Lowe added, "We want all children to have at least the most basic educational opportunities that are possible."
She called on lawmakers to make changes in the basic aid amount for students, fully fund transportation, career technical and special education programs and to pay for new initiatives like the third grade reading guarantee.
Along with Snyder-Lowe's message, Northern Local Superintendent Tom Perkins spoke on a need to increase the arts. He told lawmakers that the two year budget should fund Advanced Placement courses to prepare students for college, Art and Music, access to technology and other opportunities that are offered in more affluent districts.
"The ability to provide such experiences for rural students has been denied in the past," said Perkins. "This new proposal does little to remedy the dilemma."
The two year budget will determine funding levels for Ohio's 1.8 million school children.