COLUMBUS, Ohio - Ohio Gov. John Kasich Thursday unveiled his much-anticipated education plan with a pledge that none of Ohio’s school districts will receive less state money than they did last year as a result of the new strategy.
Under the new plan, called “Achievement Everywhere,” Ohio would invest more than $1.2 billion in additional state funds for public school districts over the next two years. The plan is part of the governor’s 2014-15 budget proposal.
The additional state funds would be used to give property-poor districts more resources to educate their students. To view the allocation of those funds, go to http://jobsbudget.ohio.gov/documents/Preliminary-County.pdf .
The money also would be channeled to districts to help cover the costs incurred educating students who are disabled or poor, as well as those who don’t speak English fluently and students designated as gifted. There also would be a separate pot of money available to encourage innovation that ultimately would reduce schools’ expenses.
“Achievement Everywhere” also would expand school choice for young children attending schools ranked as failing by the state.
“If you’re poor, you’re going to get more. If you’re rich, you’re going to get less. If you have disabled students, you’re going to get help. If you’ve got gifted students, you’re going to get help,” Kasich said during a question and answer session at a special meeting of the Buckeye Association of School Administrators in Columbus. “This is not some political deal.”
Richard Ross, the governor’s director of 21st century education, said the proposal shouldn’t be viewed as a funding plan.
“We call this and consider this an education improvement plan,” he said.
Kasich said the plan is fully funded and that he and his advisors believe it will pass constitutional muster.
The Ohio Supreme Court ruled in 1997 that the state’s system of funding schools was unconstitutional. Every governor who has held office since the ruling has proposed ways to address the problem.
Kasich insisted Thursday that his plan could work if all the adults involve focus on the needs of the boys and girls of Ohio.
“We have to be in this for one basic reason,” Kasich said. “The Lord is watching us as we make an effort to give our children the knowledge they want in order to be successful and pursue their God-given destinies.”
After the presentation, the governor’s communications staff sent out some initial responses from school superintendents.
One was from Keith Brown, superintendent of Washington Court House City Schools. In the statement relayed by the governor’s office, Brown said: “ It is clear to me, and many others in education, that we cannot continue to do the things in the same way we have always done them in Ohio. Gov. Kasich’s plan is a new beginning and I, for one, welcome that.”
Copyright 2013 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Keith Brown, superintendent of Washington Court House City Schools: “It is clear to me, and many others in education, that we cannot continue to do the things in the same way we have always done them in Ohio. Gov. Kasich’s plan is a new beginning and I, for one, welcome that.”
John Marschausen, Superintendent, Loveland Schools: “We need to do a better job preparing today's students to be tomorrow's leaders. This budget proposal encourages school leaders to step-up, take risks, and push our education system to the next level. Ohio needs to shift from an industrial aged education model to an information/digital age education model. The Governor clearly recognizes the challenges facing educators and the importance of funding the education system. Governor Kasich's budget plan provides much needed funding to Ohio's school, holds district accountable for results, and encourages innovation and creativity. It is a fair proposal that provides for equity, quality, creativity, and transparency."
Tim Williams, Superintendent, Logan Elm Local Schools: “The Straight A Fund will provide districts with extra funds to develop innovative and sustainable programs to advance education in the State of Ohio. The Governors’ funding plan focuses on improving the quality of education for students in the State.”
Diana Savage, Superintendent, Bryan City Schools: “I am excited to know that the new education funding plan focuses on student needs and sending more money into the classrooms. Districts who have higher percentages of specific student populations, such as special education, ELL, gifted, and students in poverty, will see additional funding directed to those specific areas of need.”
Charla Evans, Superintendent of Gallia County Local: “As an experienced educator and superintendent, I am very gratified with the Governor's commitment to education as evidenced in the Achievement Everywhere Plan. I see opportunities for all school districts to better serve their students in more equitable ways. I am also pleased to see the opportunity given to schools to craft creative plans that can change education in ways that will impact future generations exponentially. The incentive fund will support educators in providing new school experiences that will not be bounded by district lines or zip codes but only by interests and imagination of students and educators.”
Stan Jennings, Superintendent of Scioto County Career Technical Center: “I am encouraged and actively seeking more information on the Governor’s proposed budget. I was enthused by the Governor’s mention of Career Tech Education in the budget and further encouraged by the potential for the "Straight A" grant for innovative practice.”