Dayton, Ohio – It’s been over a decade and Dayton Public Schools (DPS) is still trying to recover millions from the Ohio Department of Education (ODE). A judge ruled that ODE unlawfully debited money from districts around the state, and now, DPS Superintendent Elizabeth Lolli is talking about it.
As of today, the $23.6 million ODE owes DPS has yet to reach their hands. While they negotiated a settlement for a partial payment previously, they’ve been waiting years to get the rest returned. The judge in this latest case said ODE continued to use their own formula instead of the state’s funding formula to divvy out money and did not credit the district for students who chose to attend community schools.
It’s been over a decade and DPS is still waiting on millions of dollars from the ODE. Lolli said they could sure could use it.
“Our five-year forecast is showing that we are in the red. So, we start that deficit spending, so it would help that. And it would help us maintain the programs without further cuts to programs, meaning that we totally reduce that program in the future.”
It wouldn’t just help with programs but also projects that are currently on hold.
“We’re back to where we typically are with facilities so we can’t continue those upgrades and keeping up with maintenance and things like that right now because we are trying to be fiscally responsible.”
Lolli believes it would be beneficial for ODE to just settle and pay up since $100,000 of interest is accruing every month, but it’s not clear if they’ll do so.
“If it’s delayed much longer, the $100,000 continues to accumulate. And if they appeal and we win it again that’s even more interest that you’ll hire Department of Ed will have to pay to the to the schools that have won that judgment.”
ODE declined comment last week. Spectrum News reached out to ODE again to see if they’d settle or appeal. A spokesperson for ODE said they had no new information to share. Toledo And Cleveland Metropolitan are also waiting on payments. In the meantime, Lolli says they do not expect to receive the money any time in the near future because they suspect ODE to appeal the judge’s ruling.