There are going to be definite winners and losers locally if Gov. Ted Strickland's education proposals are passed.
Howland, Liberty, Lordstown and Weathersfield are expected to receive the largest percentage increases in money during the two-year budget cycle. Lakeview and Mathews schools would received the largest decreases.
Five of Trumbull County's school districts will not receive any additional money in the first year of the biennium. Lakeview and Mathews will lose $127,304 and $53,502, respectively.
Strickland announced his $55 billion budget plan Monday. Of that, $925 million is in new money for public schools.
Warren City Schools, Trumbull County's largest school district, is expected in 2010 to receive a funding increase of $1.8 million over its 2009 budget, and a $1.3 million boost in 2011 over its 2010 budget.
"We are happy to receive whatever money the state will provide us," Warren school board member Bob Faulkner said. "We always are concerned with whatever strings may be connected, but I am more hopeful that we will be able to spend this money more freely than the funds that are proposed in the (U.S.) House version of the federal stimulus package."
If the House version of the federal stimulus package passes, Warren schools is expected to receive $7.5 million over the next two years.
School officials say the majority of that money is supposed to go to very specific programs and cannot be used to help district operational needs.
"I'm very hopeful about the state money," Faulkner said. "The last three governors have said they wanted to be known as education governors. Strickland actually appears to be trying to make significant changes."
Liberty Superintendent Mark Lucas' initial reaction to the governor's proposal was positive as well. However, Lucas says he wants to look deeper into the proposal.
Liberty schools will receive a 15 percent, or $786,369, increase in the 2010 budget and a 3 percent, or $207,463, increase in the 2011 budget.
"We want to look at the details of the budget because we want to make sure no shell games are being played," Lucas said. "We want to make sure there will not be any reductions somewhere else."
Lakeview Superintendent Robert Wilson, however, is disappointed in what he has heard so far about Strickland's proposal.
"I hoping there is something we're not seeing right now that will help us," Wilson said. "This (reduction) was very surprising. I think we have proven that we're a high-performing school district, and we are very efficient in the way we spend our money. I don't understand why we would receive less money in this budget."