Before embarking on his school funding plan, Governor Strickland spent months traveling the state getting input from educators, school administrators and parents.
In typical Kasich fashion, it seems the new Governor’s plans for Ohio’s school have been developed in secret without any input from important stakeholders or from legislative leaders who will need to pass the proposed legislation into law.
As we reported earlier this month, House Education committee leaders like Republican Gerald Stebelton don’t seem to have any details about Kasich’s plans.
Even more disturbing, the Ohio Education Association has been completely excluded from the process. According to the OEA website, the organization “represents more than 121,000 teachers, faculty members and support professionals who work in Ohio’s schools, colleges and universities to help improve public education and the lives of Ohio’s children.”
Today OEA President Patricia Frost-Brooks sent a letter to Governor Kasich criticizing his previous school budget cuts of $1.8 Billion and expressing dismay that OEA was not giving input the latest budget plans:
I am writing to express my disappointment that you are developing a new school funding formula, a state education budget and a set of education reforms in a process that has included only the select few while excluding groups like the Ohio Education Association, which represents more than 121,000 educators, faculty members and education support professionals.
In the past, the policy processes that exclude key stakeholders have resulted in extreme cuts to Ohio’s public schools, the diversion of public school funding to for-profit charter schools, online schools and voucher-supported private schools. The budget cuts in the current biennium have narrowed curriculum choices for students, increased class sizes and shifted school funding burdens from the state to local districts.
Despite having none of the important stakeholders involved in his school funding plans, I don’t think anyone will be surprised when President Frost-Brooks predictions come true: “cuts to Ohio’s public schools, the diversion of public school funding to for-profit charter schools, online schools and voucher-supported private schools.”