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VIDEO: 4 Things to Know About John Kasich’s Education Platform Ahead of The 74 Summit

By Carolyn Phenicie | August 11, 2015

This video is part of a series commissioned to introduce the political leaders set to speak at the August 19 New Hampshire Education Summit (in no particular order). Watch all videos, and read the complete series, and be sure to watch the Summit live on Wednesday the 19th right here at The74Million.org. More info: EdSummits2015.org

Ohio Gov. John Kasich is one of a half-dozen Republicans confirmed to take part in the Aug. 19 Education Summit in Manchester, New Hampshire. In advance of the event (which will be live streamed here), here’s a quick survey of Kasich’s education record in Ohio, as well as his K-12 platform. (Also be sure to check out our report on Kasich’s education record from the day he announced his candidacy.)



Common Core
Kasich, with Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, is one of two GOP candidates in the race still supporting the Common Core. He backed the standards on Fox News in January. Just ahead of his campaign announcement last month he told voters in New Hampshire, “Whether unpopular or not, I am going to make sure at least in my state that standards are high and local control is maintained,” according to the Concord Monitor. Ohio has, however, pulled out of the PARCC testing consortium, with Kasich’s blessing.
School Funding
Kasich this year proposed a school funding formula that would send more money from wealthier districts to poorer ones, Cleveland.com reported.  He reasoned that districts with lower property tax values and lower incomes have less capacity to raise funds themselves. “It is a conservative point of view that every kid should be in a position to thrive,” he said. “I don’t see it as redistribution…I see it as a formula for driving resources to kids.”
A final compromise with legislators boosted overall spending by $950 million and raised per-pupil aid, and also guaranteed that no district would receive less aid than it did last year, according to Cleveland.com.
The fight over school funding likely isn’t over, though. Kasich vetoed an $80 million pool of money in this year’s state budget designed to ensure schools didn’t see a dip in funding from an eliminated personal property tax. But state legislators aren’t happy with that action, and may discuss overriding the veto or proposing new legislation to counteract it when they return to session next month, according to the Columbus Dispatch.
Vouchers
The number of available school vouchers has skyrocketed under Kasich’s tenure, from 14,000 in the 2006-07 school year to 64,000 in the school year that just ended. Students in the lowest-performing schools across the state are eligible, regardless of their family’s income. Yet for all the available slots, fewer than one-third were used last school year, Cincinnati.com reported. Supporters said that could mean parents are happy with their traditional public schools rather than a sign that the program’s a failure.


Keeping Score, Election 2016: Check out all 22 education scorecards


Charter Controversy
The charter sector in Ohio has been criticized for academic, financial and ethical issues, according to the Washington Post. "It's quite a morass," State Auditor Dave Yost said about discrepancies between real and reported head counts at charters, which are paid based on enrollments.
Recently, School Choice Director David Hansen resigned, having admitted to leaving out failing grades for some charter management groups. Hansen’s wife, Beth, is Kasich’s former chief of staff and his 2016 campaign manager. The governor said recently that he doesn’t see a need for a special investigation into the issue. “I mean, the guy is gone. He’s gone,” Kasich said, The Columbus Dispatch reported. “We don’t tolerate any sort of not open and direct communication about charter schools, and everybody gets it. So that’s kind of the end of it.”
Kasich did, however, express an interest in overhauling Ohio’s education board, calling it “extremely partisan” and “very polarized and divided.” The board has 19 members, 11 elected and eight appointed by the governor, and hires and fires the state superintendent, according to the Dispatch. Seven of those members called for an investigation into the charter schools data issue. Kasich said the governor should pick the education leader. Every governor has called for overhauling the board since it was created in the 1950s.
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