Friday, February 10, 2012
Ohio Jumps on State of the State Train
Last month, we told you what governors have been saying in their state of the state addresses. And we’re not done!
This week, Ohio Governor John Kasich delivered his address, and in it, school choice played a major role. In fact, the Governor chose to deliver his speech not at the State Capitol, but at a high-performing elementary school in Steubenville, Ohio.
Here’s what Governor Kasich had to say about choice in education:
Education reform. Think about this: No mom and dad should have to have their kids in a school where they're not safe and they're not learning. It's a civil right.
This is not an attack on the public school system or public school teachers. We have to honor the ones that are really out there just like we see here in Wells Academy. But, when the schools aren't working and they're underperforming, let our children go. We went in this state from 13,000 vouchers to 30,000 families who can have more choice and more freedom, to next year 60,000 vouchers. I don't know that that exists anywhere in America. And it's going to give our poor people a chance.
We lifted the cap on the number of charter schools. And let me make it clear: if you're an underperforming charter school, we'll be on you. We have to have excellence in every school, and just because it has a name, if it's not working, we're going to have to deal with it. I'll ask the legislature to exercise proper oversight. And let me also—you can applaud for that. I know a lot of people are concerned about that.
If the school continues to fail, parents and teachers have the power to take the school over themselves. I want to give a big shout out to Stan Heffner. He is a man who has decided that he is committed to the fact that we need to let moms and dads know, across this state, how their kids are doing. He has published a report that ranks the schools, and that's how Wells got to be number one. He is traveling the state. We need moms and dads to know how their schools are doing.
Our schools across the state are, frankly, consistent with the Race to the Top, where I give Arne Duncan and the President great credit for what they've done there. We're moving Ohio forward, but we've got a long way to go.
We’re happy to see that Governor Kasich—a standout leader in 2011 for expanding two school choice program and creating a special needs voucher program—is still committed to education reform.
- American Federation for Children | Alliance for School Choice, MSG