After Kasich spent the entire campaign promising he’d find a way to convince the federal government to allow Ohio to keep the $400 million in 3C money even though he’d never agree to build such a project only to see the federal government do what we’ve predicted all year, how confident can the media be on Kasich’s similar promise that Ohio’s in no danger in losing another $400 million in federal “Race to the Top” education reform money?
Especially given that the U.S. Department of Education is saying similar things that the U.S. Department of Transportation was saying before today?
It’s funny to watch Kasich defenders like Jon Keeling declare “victory” for Kasich today given that’s not even something Kasich is doing. Kasich folks spent more time trying to lay the groundwork to blame the federal government for taking the money and giving it to other States than they ever did actually studying the issue objectively. The reality is that Kasich never even tried to find a solution where the proponents and critics of 3C could find common ground.
If he had spent nearly as much effort on that as he has, say, trying to find a way to still implement the 2005 tax cuts during a budgetary crisis—a problem that will cost Ohio nearly a billion in his first year in office which is substantially more than the State’s share of 3C would ever be—today’s news could have been avoided.
The 3C wasn’t a Democratic issue. It’s genesis began in the Voinovich Administration. It had the support of the Butler County Commissioners, all Republicans. It had the support of the Cincinnati, Dayton, and Columbus Chambers of Commerce. Before Kasich issued his partisan hit on the program, it actually enjoyed broad bipartisan support in the Ohio General Assembly as well.
Now we turn to wait and see what is going to happen with Ohio’s “Race to the Top” funding and see if Kasich was telling the truth (although his camp has seemed to walk back from claiming that Secretary Duncan explicitly said Ohio’s funding wasn’t in jeopardy at all) or the U.S. Department of Education, which has no dog in this fight, is telling the truth about the situation.
We told you during the campaign and immediately afterwards that Kasich could jeopardize $800 million in federal funding. Kasich’s supporters denied it, even as it applied to the 3C. Now, they’re making the same arguments with “Race to the Top.” What’s that about doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result?