COLUMBUS—State Senators Louis W. Blessing, III (R-Cincinnati) and Andrew Brenner (R-Delaware) today introduced new legislation providing an additional $857 million of federal funding to Ohio’s public, private and vocational schools for COVID-19 pandemic-related expenses.
“The next generation is depending on us to do what is right and necessary to return our classrooms to some sense of normalcy,” said Blessing. “Our students cannot wait for these relief dollars to undergo a lengthy budget process, which is why I am proud to introduce this bill and urge swift passage on behalf of the people of Ohio.”
The funding provided in Senate Bill 111 includes:
- $683.1 million for Ohio’s public schools
- $154.8 million for Ohio's private schools
- $173 million for the Ohio Department of Health to continue to expand COVID testing and vaccine distribution efforts
- $9 million for Educational Service Centers, Joint Vocational Schools and Ohio's County Boards of Developmental Disabilities
- $8 million for the Adjutant General to allow additional deployment of Ohio National Guard rapid response personnel and resources to serve older Ohioans.
“As we all know, this pandemic has been particularly challenging for Ohio’s students, parents and teachers,” said Brenner. “I look forward to working with my colleagues and the administration to provide relief as quickly as possible by passing Senate Bill 111.”
To date, over $2.5 billion in funding has been approved by the General Assembly to be distributed to Ohio’s communities and schools as they continue to battle and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Testimony on the bill begins March 9th
in the Senate finance committee, and a companion bill will be introduced in the Ohio House of Representatives.