Teachers and John Kasich were not friendly during the last gubernatorial campaign. According to Kasich, teachers unions “smeared [his] record and distorted it” and he insisted they take out full page ads in every newspaper to apologize to him. Kasich also promised to “break the back of organized labor in the schools” and he meant it.
He started with Senate Bill 5 which, in military terms, could be considered a series of air strikes intent on destroying his enemy’s defenses. If passed into law, SB5 would seriously impact the effectiveness of teachers to collectively bargain – opening up an opportunity for the full on ground assault that is his budget.
Kasich didn’t even bother to try to hide his hatred of teachers when he created his budget. He severely cut funding for schools hoping they would fire or reduce the salaries of teachers to help make up the difference. And he completely removed minimum pay scales for teachers to help assist in the process.
He did fail to see one defensive maneuver though. In an attempt to avoid huge cuts in teacher pay and layoffs that would ultimately end up hurting their students, many school districts have recently announced they would be seeking to put levies on the ballot to help make up for Kasich’s funding cuts.
Having yet to come up with a way to force districts to fire teachers or reduce their pay, Kasich is taking his message directly to potential school-levy voters.
According to Bill Cohen at WOSU John Kasich is now urging voters to “reject proposals to raise local taxes” and “he’s pressuring schools to operate with less money” by cutting teachers’ salaries.
Kasich cut BILLIONS from schools and local communities to help balance his own budget and in return he promised to give them the tools they needed to help balance their budgets and maintain services. But all along he’s done is push them down a single path: screw public employees.
At the end of the day the only tool Kasich provided local communities was a big hammer. And now he’s trying to force them to use it to beat in the heads of the people who teach their children.
To say his behavior is shameful hardly seems sufficient.