COLUMBUS — March 8, 2011 — Today Governor John Kasich gave his first State of the State address.
The following can be attributed to Ohio Education Association President, Patricia Frost-Brooks:
“We welcome the Governor’s commentary on Ohio’s strengths – our cities, public colleges and major businesses, as well as his quest for new jobs for Ohioans. To see what the Governor intends for our pre-k-12 students, however, we will have to wait until his first state budget proposals next week. For our state to remain strong and become stronger, Ohio will need to invest in high quality public education that develops an educated workforce to help grow our economy.
In his speech, Gov. Kasich acknowledged protesters outside the door of the House Chambers and said he respects those with strong opinions contrary to his own. Unfortunately, as the demonstrators outside the state house pointed out, the governor is also supporting SB5, specifically designed to silence the voices of public workers such as teachers, firefighters, and police. SB 5’s attack on collective bargaining, endorsed by the Governor, would leave school employees very little say in the quality of public education for Ohio’s students and how to make Ohio’s schools the best.
Like the Governor we believe in vigorous public debate on important issues, especially if that belief leads to more open discussions on Ohio’s future and solving our problems in a collaborative fashion. We hope the upcoming discussions will lead to fair-minded budget options, a sensible approach to labor-management collaboration and a legislative program that will strengthen opportunities for students – students preparing for jobs in what we all hope will be a healthier and more successful Ohio economy. “
The Ohio Education Association (ohea.org) represents 121,000 teachers, faculty members and support professionals in Ohio’s public schools, colleges and universities.
CONTACT: Michele Prater
614-227-3071; cell 614-378-0469, firstname.lastname@example.org