On November 3, 2010, while basking in the glow of his narrow victory (with less than a majority of votes – 49.04%) over Ted Strickland, Governor-elect John Kasich felt the need to specifically address teachers unions during a press conference. In typical Kasich style, he went unscripted and talked about how he was going to create jobs, kill the high-speed rail project, and get dollars into classrooms. Then, without provocation, Kasich lashed out with a very direct ultimatum:
“I am waiting for the teachers union to take out full-page ads in all of the [major] newspapers apologizing for what they had to say about me during this campaign,” said Kasich.
Really, Governor? Are you referring to your unresponsiveness to invitations to meet with screening committees during your campaign for Governor? And were you really that bitter that the associations opted to endorse Ted Strickland in the wake of your refusal to communicate? Sound familiar, readers? From the Governor’s statements, we must assume that he would always take the high road during any campaign, right?
Wrong. To coin an old phrase, to assume makes an ASS out of U and ME.
So what have Kasich and Company said about teachers during the Senate Bill 5 and Issue 2 campaign?
The number of years a teacher has taught and a teacher’s education – do not directly impact student learning.
Teachers aren’t paying their fair share of pension – 10% [State law requires 10% employee contribution for STRS]
Teachers hide behind the protections of a union contract.
“Union bosses” have control over the management of school districts.
He cut funding for education by 11.5% in the coming fiscal year while expanding the school voucher program and making charter schools less accountable.
College graduates with only five weeks of summer training will save Ohio’s education system (because they’re better than any current teachers).
Michelle Rhee knows more about Ohio’s schools than Ohio’s teachers.
Ninety-percent of life is just showing up. Obviously they flunked that test.
Teachers get raises just for showing up.
Along the way, teachers were locked out of the Statehouse, stood up at a school funding meeting (with teacher union leaders, of course), and completely ignored during the creation of an Early Education and Development Innovation Committee (business and community members only).
It seems that behavior like that leaves only one real option.
The Governor’s office obviously has easy access to the Columbus Dispatch, the Cleveland Plain Dealer, and the Cincinnati Enquirer as well as a handful of other irrelevant newspapers. We can’t imagine that they would charge him any more than they did for the articles his office has written for them over the past few months. Then again, with Kasich’s backing, their readership has plummeted. Maybe Citizens United will pay for the ad?
While he’s at it, mending fences with all public employees might not be such a bad idea.
Clock’s ticking, Governor.