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Gov. Kasich Wants to See More Local School Reform Legislation

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Tuesday, July 16, 2013 at 3:00 PM

Gov. John Kasich appeared with state Sen. Peggy Lehner at the signing of Cleveland Plan legislation in 2012.

Gov. John Kasich appeared with state Sen. Peggy Lehner at the signing of Cleveland Plan legislation in 2012.

Gov. John Kasich wants more Ohio school districts to seek legislation to overhaul their schools, Gongwer Ohio reports.

Kasich's comments came this week as he signed legislation that lets the mayor of Columbus sponsor charter schools, the Columbus school district share local tax dollars with charter schools, and allows for the creation of a new, independent district auditor position.

And they come a year after Kasich signed legislation allowing the Cleveland schools to share local tax dollars with charter schools and made other significant changes, including altering how Cleveland hires, fires and lays off teachers.

On Monday, Kasich said "the window of opportunity" is open for other districts to ask Columbus lawmakers for change:

"There's no one-size-fits all. Cleveland had their issues, Columbus has its issues, there are going to be other school districts," Mr. Kasich said. "Youngstown's got lots of problems up there, financial problems. Everybody has to tailor their fix to their problem, so I wouldn't be prescriptive. I want it to come from the bottom up.

"It's contagious," he said during the bill-signing event. "I know we're going to see something in Cincinnati. In many of the districts in suburban Ohio, in rural Ohio, in urban Ohio, it needs to continue to happen for the good of our children."

The Columbus school district is facing state and local investigations into allegations that district staff altered records to improve the appearance of the district's performance on state report cards.

Not everyone is a fan of the new Columbus legislation, WOSU reports:

The bill’s supporters say it is the proper step to fix the troubled school district that has been plagued by an on-going state and federal investigation into alleged attendance and data rigging and grade changes...

But not everyone likes the plan. Maureen Reedy, who is Ohio’s 2002 Teacher of the Year, opposes it. Reedy, who picketed the signing, does not think taxpayer dollars should go to fund what she calls ineffective charter schools.

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