From the Superintendent
Last week I was fortunate to attend Gov. John Kasich’s State of the State speech in Medina. I felt privileged that education played a fundamental role in his remarks. I’m truly inspired that our state’s highest office-holder shares my concerns—and I’m sure yours—for Ohio’s drop-outs and our struggling girls and boys who are still in school. Without major help, these Ohioans will miss out on so many opportunities for good jobs, careers and other positive things in life.
I want to give you a quick rundown of some of the education initiatives Gov. Kasich proposed.
Reduce our drop-out problem
I’ve talked to you in recent issues of EdConnection about the high numbers of Ohio students dropping out of high school—24,000 last year. The governor announced strategies to identify at-risk students earlier in their school careers. That means we would have more support to identify those boys and girls for increased help. These supports may include career mentoring and alternate pathways to a diploma. Gov. Kasich also proposed new solutions for helping the current 1 million adults in our state who do not have a diploma to earn one.
Expand vocational education
The governor wants to work with us to help extend Ohio’s career-technical education network to students as early as Grade 7, to give more Ohio youngsters a jumpstart on career education. Districts will be allowed to opt-out if they choose, as long as they explain in writing their reason for not giving students access to these existing education options.
Finally, the governor proposed setting aside $10 million for one-time grants to encourage more Ohio individuals, community organizations, faith-based groups and businesses to mentor students. This will give more of our youngsters the role models that can motivate them, inspire them and help them develop the skills they need to succeed. Gov. Kasich proposed giving communities $3 for every $1 they spend on mentoring.
As we move into the final months of the school year, I hope you’ll start thinking about how these efforts could touch the struggling students you care about, enabling them to make the most of their education and their lives. I will provide you with more information on how to get involved as it becomes available.
In the meantime, you can see a video of the governor’s State of the State speech here. Also watch the news for when the governor will introduce his formal executive proposal for the Mid-Biennium Review.
Thank you for all you do for the boys and girls of Ohio.
Dr. Richard A. Ross
Superintendent of Public Instruction