Friday, January 27th, 2012
By Daily Standard Staff
Kasich talks jobs, education during media event
COLUMBUS - Education and manufacturing top Gov. John Kasich's priority list for 2012.
The governor on Thursday said he wants more money available for classroom instruction, not just new buildings. He also wants the public to know how schools are performing.
"K through 12 education is a challenge for the entire country," he said during an Associated Press forum in Columbus. "I have great concern that Moms and Dads don't understand the performance of their schools."
He said 67 percent of Ohio's parents think schools are doing a great job but he's troubled that too many first-year college students are taking remedial courses. He noted an average 41 percent remediation rate across the state.
"We have to just tell the truth about what's going on in our education system," he said, adding it doesn't mean we don't have great schools and teachers.
His plan calls for better classroom instruction and parental involvement.
"We've come a long way but we have a long way to go," he said.
He also focused on the efficacy of community colleges, pointing out the institutions are not doing a good enough job of training workers. He also noted that the graduation rate of community colleges is only 10 percent.
Kasich also said he is worried about Ohioans "giving up on manufacturing" because those jobs strengthen the middle class.
"I do worry about the problem of the shrinking middle class," the governor said.
He also said he hasn't seen labor problems, pointing out agreements have been reached with Ford and Chrysler recently.
"We've not seen massive labor problems," he said. "I've not seen some big outbreak and frankly I've been surprised by it."
Kasich also talked about taking advantage of the state's natural resources, explaining such an industry - one that lasts for generations, not just a few years - could provide tens of thousands of jobs and potentially lift Ohio.
Ohio was once the Saudi Arabia of oil but lost its status due to mismanagement, he said.
The state can have economic success in hydraulic fracturing, a technique long used by the oil and gas industry to free oil and gas from rock, while still preserving the environment, Kasich said
"We're going to make sure the environment is protected," he said.
Kasich on Thursday also pointed out numerous accomplishments made over the past year that have gotten little attention from the press, such as prison reform and privatization, Medicaid reform, Invest Ohio and the elimination of the estate tax.
All have helped lay a new foundation for the state's future, he said.
Following Kasich's presentation, Ohio Senate President Tom Niehaus (R-New Richmond), House Speaker William Batchelder (R-Medina), House Minority Leader Armond Budish (D-Beachwood) and newly-appointed Senate Minority Leader Eric Kuerney (D-North Avondale) discussed redistricting, environmental issues, election law and school vouchers.
Also speaking on various issues were Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor, Ohio Republican Party Chairman Kevin DeWine and Ohio Democratic Party Executive Director Kyle McDermott, Attorney General Mike DeWine, Secretary of State Jon Husted and State Auditor David Yost.
One re-ocurring discussion throughout the day centered on Kasich's idea to give this year's State of the State address in Steubenville, not Columbus. The speech has historically taken place at the state capitol.
This year's event is slated for Feb. 7 at Wells Academy.
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