Congress passes law that increases education funding

Nick Glunt

State funds may be re-allocated from Medicaid to boost education funding and to keep teachers employed. The move will offset the scarcity of federal dollars.

“We have approximately 70 percent, give or take a percent, of our budget that’s in compensation-related costs,” said Gregg Floyd, vice president of finance and administration, in a June 15 interview.

The state’s funding wasn’t enough anymore to pay teachers, so the university was forced to increase tuition by 3.5 percent on May 27, he said. Kent State was not the only university in Ohio to hike tuition this year.

Thanks to increasing Medicaid costs, states were forced to cut funding to programs like education in favor of Medicaid throughout the last few years.

Congress passed a bill Sunday in response to state Medicaid funding needs. The bill gives a total of $16.1 billion in federal Medicaid assistance to states.

With Medicaid earning the assistance from the federal government, states can now re-allocate their funds to their other programs, including education.

On Aug. 2, before the law was passed, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) released a statement on the bill.

“Should this bill become law,” Brown said, “Ohio stands to receive $492 million in vital Medicaid assistance that will help alleviate the strain on our state’s budget while maintaining critical services.”

Even though the bill was indeed passed, this does not mean that Ohio will place all $492 million into education funding. The state will need to re-allocate into all areas, not just education.

“Under this legislation,” Brown continued, “nearly 140,000 teaching jobs—including close to 5,000 in Ohio—would be saved.”

Contact administration reporter Nick Glunt at [email protected].