Ohio Education Gadfly
Volume 5, Number 13
June 30, 2011
Gov. John Kasich is slated to sign Ohio’s biennial budget today (it’s a 5,000 page document), legislation that not only appropriates funding for the Buckeye State until 2013 but that also includes hundreds of pages of education-policy changes—most of which will move Ohio forward in significant ways.
The ultimate success of the budget’s education reforms will depend greatly on the quality of implementation by the State Board of Education, the new state superintendent, and his team at the Ohio Department of Education. This may sound obvious, but it’s worth hammering home: The budget puts an enormous amount of responsibility and faith into the Department of Education (to sponsor new charter schools, a move we opposed during the debate), the State Board (to approve model frameworks for teacher evaluation), and already thinly-stretched staffers who are still deciphering what the budget provisions actually mean.
Now that the legislative debate has ended, where does Ohio stand on the big education-policy issues of charter schools, teacher policy, and school accountability and improvement? And why will implementation be so crucial? Let’s dig in.
Charters & Choice
Fordham is a long-time supporter of school choice and believes in the expansion of quality options for families. However, we made it clear in recent months that we opposed proposals in the House that would have severely undermined accountability and the quality of authorizers and charter schools. Thankfully, the most egregious House language offered by some for-profit school-management companies was stripped out in the final budget deal, so Ohioans need not worry about charter schools or groups of individuals running schools without oversight.