Message from the Chairperson

“Since Ohio started encouraging innovative new education improvements with the Straight A Fund, we’ve seen school districts across our state take new steps that have meant real cost-savings for taxpayers while simultaneously improving opportunities and outcomes for students. Our Straight A schools should be commended for taking bold steps to creatively move the needle and put kids first.”

- Gov. John Kasich

The world is changing faster than ever. Technology and the pace of commerce mean employers are demanding greater skills and adaptability from their workers. Ohio’s students must enter the workforce and college with the analytical thinking, problem-solving and technology skills needed to maintain competitiveness.

Yet, many Ohio students are learning in classrooms that look like their decades-old predecessors and with techniques that haven’t evolved as quickly as our changing society. If our children are to be ready, we must offer them innovative learning environments that step up knowledge and mirror the modern and quickly evolving workplace.

Ohio’s $250 million Straight A Fund, proposed by Gov. John Kasich, is helping to do that. The early results show that Ohio’s schools are inspired to think creatively about today’s educational challenges – especially in a technology-based world. But sometimes they need some extra funds to prime the pump and that is where the Straight A Fund is helping.

After rigorous screening processes, the state invested $88.6 million in round one and $144.6 million in round two in a total of 296 school districts to help them get innovative, locally-created projects off the ground. That makes the Straight A program the largest state education innovation fund in U.S. history – another example of Ohio’s leadership in education.

The fund is not a one-shot approach. Unlike other large grant programs, the Straight A Fund requires that innovations be sustainable to increase the long-term cost savings as well as improve student learning. More than $300 million in projected spending reductions are expected from Straight A Fund schools, meaning more money will go to Ohio classrooms.

The Straight A Fund has inspired a wave of creativity. Many schools and districts have come together for the first time to pool their good ideas and create economies of scale that permit greater efficiencies and more powerful improvements. In rounds one and two, 75 percent of Ohio districts submitted applications, and that’s a lot of innovative thinking.

The Straight A Fund may be some of the best money Ohio has ever spent on education – changing the way districts and schools do business, sustaining positive changes and spending taxpayers’ money more effectively.

Keep reading to learn some of these stories. The Straight A Fund has begun to not only move the needle on student achievement but move mountains in the way we think about innovation in education.


Alex Fischer
Chairman, Straight A Fund Governing Board

Last Modified: 9/29/2015 10:33:13 AM