We’ve been so busy pointing out the damaging effects of House Bill 136 that we have neglected to recognize the awards being distributed by School Choice Ohio Inc., a vocal proponent of school vouchers.

On November 2, State Senator Kevin Bacon, received a School Choice Leadership award for being “instrumental in supporting the Scholarship during the state budget process.”

Kevin Bacon may be better known to Ohioans as the chair of the Senate Insurance, Commerce and Labor Committee that originally passed Senate Bill 5 via the removal of Senator Bill Seitz.

On November 8, School Choice Ohio Inc. presented State Senator Peggy Lehner with another Leadership Award in “recognition of her commitment to advancing the principles of school choice in the state of Ohio.”  To best explain the power that the state senator wields as the education representative on the Senate’s Finance committee,  Lehner helped get the Jon Peterson Special Needs Scholarship Program passed into law as a part of the state budget, after five years of parents of students with special needs advocating for this program.

Coincidentally, Lehner is also the chair of the Senate’s Education Committee who will hear HB 136 if it ever passes a House floor vote.  It was a shrewd move for School Choice Ohio Inc. to recognize such a needed supporter.  Lehner’s not too keen on the bill at the moment.  According the Dayton Daily News:

“I have received far more letters on this issue from school districts than I did during the entire six months of Issue 2,” said Lehner, who chairs the Senate Education Committee.

Lehner said the measure, sponsored by Rep. Matt Huffman, R-Lima, isn’t likely to make it to the Senate in its current form as some changes are being made to it.

“The current rendition of it is certainly causing a great deal of concern among school districts, and I think rightfully so,” she said.

And most importantly and least surprisingly, House Bill 136 sponsor Matt Huffman.  School Choice Ohio Inc. honored Huffman on September 16 as a “School Choice Champion.”   The non-profit organization presented Huffman “with a seedling tree to represent the seeds of hope he is planting for thousands of families across Ohio.”  According to School Choice Ohio Inc.,  Representative Huffman is the “first legislator to receive this prestigious award.”  SCO Inc. does not have a published list of past winners, so we are unable to report on Huffman’s peers in receiving one of the non-profit corporation’s highest honors.

It seems these three are also garnering national recognition for their support of the expansion of vouchers in Ohio.

“This is the year of growth for school choice, and Ohio has just joined the bumper crop of states that have decided to make educational choice a centerpiece of education reform,” said Robert C. Enlow, President and CEO of the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice, the nation’s leading advocate for school choice. “The commitment of Gov. Kasich and the support of Rep. Matt Huffman and Senators Kevin Bacon and Peggy Lehner is inspiring.”

So finally, the element beyond school vouchers that connects these three School Choice Ohio Inc. honorees – Governor John Kasich. All bad legislation in Ohio leads back to him these days.  If only we could work House Speaker Batchelder in here somewhere….

Let’s make sure that the elected leaders who took a stand for school choice hear a big THANK YOU from us. Please take a moment today to contact champions like Governor Kasich, Senator Kevin Bacon, Rep. Matt Huffman, Senator Peggy Lehner, and Speaker Bill Batchelder to thank them for making new options available to kids.

(School Choice Ohio Inc. blog, 7/5/2011)

That last one may have been gratuitous, but we included it just in case you feared Kasich & Batchelder had no connection to the expansion of school vouchers and HB 136.

So while the talk at this point may be that the bill doesn’t have the votes to get to the House floor, we should be wary of such rumors.  And know that if HB 136 does make it to a floor vote, the support of Batchelder will virtually ensure its passage.  From there, the advocacy of Senator Lehner will surely move it to quick passage in the Senate.

Be very afraid of this scenario and keep the pressure on your Representative.  This is merely another step in the Ohio GOP’s mission to destroy public education in Ohio.

 

 
  • NIce posat really nice!

  • Oh, aren’t they proud…where’s the bumper sticker?

  • Dmoore2222

    Very dangerous for republicans given the results of Issue 2, the first failed assault on public education.  Like politics, all education is local. Once people come to understand the devastating consequences for their local schools, we’ll have another SB5 scenario. And “choice” will take on a whole different meaning–as in choice at the ballot box. Of course, don’t underestimate the stupidity and stubbornness of these people who so terribly miscalculated with SB5. So if they want to have another fight with the middle class, I say bring it!

  • Dmoore2222

    Very dangerous for republicans given the results of Issue 2, the first failed assault on public education.  Like politics, all education is local. Once people come to understand the devastating consequences for their local schools, we’ll have another SB5 scenario. And “choice” will take on a whole different meaning–as in choice at the ballot box. Of course, don’t underestimate the stupidity and stubbornness of these people who so terribly miscalculated with SB5. So if they want to have another fight with the middle class, I say bring it!

  • Adrienne

    Thanks for the information, Greg. I am sooooooo glad that I don’t have children. I don’t want any more of my tax dollars supporting big biz. This is big biz, robbing children and tax payers on behalf of shareholders.

  • Jwizzler

     “School choice” is just a euphemism “big businesses that want to make money from schools.” They’ve already leeched onto our veterans with their ridiculous online colleges. Now that want to leech onto our six-year-olds.

  • Nce intersting!

  • Dmoore2222

    PLEASE  read today’s
    Dispatch story “Governor putting focus on job training.” If this
    isn’t a total contradiction I don’t know what else you could call it. Here we
    have a public school hater who wants to privatize everything in sight, has
    starved the public schools of critical funding in his budget, and yet expects
    the public schools to implement a vast career pathway mentoring program that
    includes elementary age children. What’s even more revealing is the statement  “That’s how we’re
    going to create the next generation of executives to run these kinds of places…”
    Yeah, Johnny. It’s ALL about executives. You know, the people who make the tall
    dollars and have cozy relationships with politicians so they can continue to
    rig the economic system in their favor. Pretty much like you did. It’s never
    about the lowly worker. Maybe they’ll just all go away and you won’t have to
    deal with them. But don’t count on it.

    I realize he’s trying to change the subject
    after taking a thorough drubbing over Issue 2, but every time he opens his trap
    he reminds everyone of how totally disconnected he is from the realities of
    education, the work place, and the everyday struggles of Ohioans in general. Please Johnny, just resign and spare us three more years of agony.

     

  • wonderful.. not more, not less! you are good

  • Anonymous

    The Dispatch finally ran an article about how HB 136 is losing support, with a VERY small last paragraph about how it will drain taxpayer money from public schools and return it to the state and private (mostly Catholic) schools.  I have nothing against Catholic schools, my son attended one his freshman year.  But private schools should not have access to any taxpayer money.

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