Kasich: Expect New K-12 Plan Before Feb. 4

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Ohio Gov. John Kasich says Ohioans can expect to see his plan for improving education in Ohio’s K-12 schools by the end of this month. He says he and his staff have been working on it for months. And Kasich says he’s glad details of it are not being released to the press.

KASICH: "You don’t want to things out before it’s completely done, and you don’t want to get things out before you have a really good way of explaining it, because it’s very complicated. School funding is extremely complicated. You move one thing, it moves another. And so you really want to get it right, and you don't want to confuse people out of the box, Joe. So no, I’m just really pleased we haven’t. First of all, I think if they tried to get it out there, if someone tried to explain it, it's so complicated that it would come out piecemeal."

Kasich says his upcoming budget will give schools themselves the power to determine their own programs to an extent. And as far as merit pay for teachers, Kasich says he’s for the idea but would rather have schools determine how it is awarded.

KASICH: "Well, I’m a big believer in teacher bonuses, but we think we have a way, perhaps, in our school education proposal that could allow school districts to design programs. You know, the Cleveland public schools have that now with the passage of the Cleveland reform bill. I’m a big believer that you can pay people more who do excellent jobs. I would rather have it come from the bottom up than from the top down. Because if it can come from the bottom up, then we can get agreement within the districts with the school board, the teachers and everybody else. But it’s absolutely something that I think makes a lot of sense."

Kasich says his plan will be comprehensive but he won’t give many details at this point.

KASICH: "It'll be up to you to judge whether it’s significantly different. But I believe it’s more than just the dollars. There are things that are connected to it that I think are different from the tradittionally -- let's look at the printout and see who wins and who loses. There will be other components of the bill that will be beyond that."

The governor’s budget is due to the legislature on Feb. 4, and he wants to get his education plan out there in advance of that deadline. Kasich says he’ll first talk about it in a meeting with school superintendents then in a public town hall meeting.

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