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As a new strain of coronavirus (COVID-19) swept through the world in 2020, preparedness plans, masking policies and more public policy changed just as quickly. WVXU has covered the pandemic's impact on the Tri-State from the very beginning, when on March 3, 2020, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine barred spectators from attending the Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus over concerns about the virus, even though Ohio had yet to confirm a single case of COVID-19.

DeWine: Cuts To Education Not As Bad As They Seem

mike dewine
Paul Vernon

Ohio will be cutting about $775 million in spending to meet a budget shortfall caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Governor Mike DeWine's cuts include $355 million to K-12 education, but he says it shouldn't hurt the most vulnerable people, because the poorer districts won't be cut as deeply.

"Schools will also be getting -- and I didn't talk about this at all yesterday because it's separate -- but over the next year they're going to have federal money that's going to come in. And in some cases that will compensate for this cut," he says.

He said this as a guest on Wednesday's Cincinnati Edition.

DeWine says with the budget shortfall, it was cut now or cut even deeper in the future. "No one can really predict this economy. What we're trying to do is to have some stability and funding for schools so when they go into next year, we don't have to keep imposing additional cuts as we move through the year. Now, there's no guarantee we won't have to do that, but, that's our goal."

DeWine says warnings of reopening the state too soon are "spot on." He says resuming normal activities could mean new COVID-19 outbreaks. On the other hand, Ohio has gone from a $200 million surplus to the nearly $780 million deficit, he says.

"There are many people, I know … who say 'DeWine, you're not moving fast enough. What are you doing? Indiana's open and doing this. How come you're not doing it?' And then we have people who say 'You're moving much too fast,' " he says.

DeWine says he's trying to find the sweet spot in lifting stay-at-home orders.

Bill Rinehart started his radio career as a disc jockey in 1990. In 1994, he made the jump into journalism and has been reporting and delivering news on the radio ever since.