Gov. John Kasich is now trying his hand at school funding with a proposal that was unveiled this week, after months of dropped clues and dodged questions. The governor revealed his plan before a gathering of the Buckeye Association of School Administrators, along with Richard Ross, director of 21st Century Education for the governor's office, and Barbara Mattei Smith, the assistant policy director for education. Gov. Kasich says no district will be cut, and that state spending on K-12 will increase in both years of the budget. But he warns that districts that are on so-called "guarantees" won't get that money after this two-year budget. The governor started selling his plan just a few hours later, at a virtual town hall at COSI in Columbus. He and his team took questions via Facebook and Twitter from those watching a live stream of the session on the Ohio Channel.
The governor's office also put out reaction statements from a variety of sources, including Eric Gordon, the CEO of the Cleveland Municipal School District and Akron City Schools superintendent David James. But Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern, who's also a member of the Ohio House, wasn't pleased. And the day before the governor's plan was proposed, a trio of House Democrats outlined what they say are three components that need to be part of any successful education reform. Reps. Teresa Fedor of Toledo, Matt Lundy of Elyria and Debbie Phillips of Athens said early learning programs, local property tax levy relief and more accountability for charter schools were critical to education reforms.
A few hours before his funding formula was revealed, the governor was already making news regarding his budget and his JobsOhio agency when he appeared before the Associated Press Legislative Preview session at the Moyer Judicial Center. He blasted Democrats for opposing JobsOhio and saying they are hoping to "wreck the economy". At another AP session a few hours later, the state's top lawmakers were asked to react, and were also asked about their thoughts on the most important issues coming before the legislature this General Assembly.
February 1, 2013