Our View: Kasich’s reform-oriented budget cuts, cuts, cuts

DKS Editors

With the release of Gov. John Kasich’s 774-page budget for Ohio, all we can think about are the cuts he’s making. This budget proposal is attempting to close an $8 billion budget gap through a combination of program reconstruction, budget cuts and privatization of public assets, such as the sale of five prisons.

The plan seeks to retain the $800 million, two-year tax cut that went into effect in January. In addition, it will add $34 million in tax incentives designed to create jobs.

But how will all of this affect Ohio’s school systems?

The total number results in a loss of funding to Ohio’s public universities of about 10.5 percent.

The proposed budget cuts spending on public universities and limits tuition increase to 3.5 percent a year, according to a marionstar.com article. This means President Lester Lefton has capped our tuition at this percentage and won’t raise it any more to make up for the budget cuts.

Plenty of programs will have reduced budgets, but students will be protected from double-digit tuition increases. We may see fewer class sections and consolidated academic programs, and staff will continue to see cuts.

Ohio is in the poorhouse, ladies and gentlemen. Kasich won’t fill the budget hole with tax increases. But he will cut programs, privatize and consolidate companies and raise user fees.

We can expect that the hundreds of millions in stimulus funds will not be replaced.

Essentially, everyone in the loop regarding the new budget was fearful Kasich would cut by a much higher percentage — between 15 and 20 percent. And we were especially terrified since Penn State is seeing cuts of more than 50 percent in their higher education budgets.

Let’s take Kasich’s budget plan as an appeasement to faculty of Ohio’s schooling systems. With Senate Bill 5 in the works, at least Kasich’s not totally crushing the hopes of higher education.

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.