2017 SBOE YEAR IN REVIEW

COMING SOON!

2018 Makeover for Pat Bruns’

Re-Election Campaign!

In the meantime….Here is what I have been doing on behalf of Ohio’s students

as your elected member of the State Board of Education!

 

 

In reviewing my work in 2017 and the over 8000 miles logged meeting with my constituents, I am honored to be able to continue to serve as your District 4 State Board member. With the end of the No Child Left Behind era of repressive testing and regulations, we have an opportunity with ESSA to reinvent ODE as a service-based partner with our school districts. We have laid the groundwork for such reform this past year. I remain committed to policies that will further strengthen our public schools and give them the resources they need, make charter schools accountable for public tax dollars, reduce/eliminate state-mandated testing, expand career-tech, problem-based learning and arts opportunities for all students. I will continue to encourage innovative and challenging educational environments that place high-quality teaching and learning at their center.

Respectfully submitted,

January, 2018

2017:

A New Year and a New Day at the Ohio State Board of Education!

We welcomed ten new board members, some elected and some appointed, but all with an interest to speak as one voice for all of Ohio students. Superintendent Paolo DeMaria continues reorganizing the department, getting to know board members through weekly updates and monthly individual phone conferences, and visiting seemingly every stakeholder in Ohio.

I am particularly proud of the board’s dialogue with Superintendent DeMaria to develop his 2018 goals. I believe it illustrates our shared interests and emphasis on inclusion and the educational improvements for which we are striving together. In particular, Paolo is committed to:

  • Nurture strong, positive relationships with Board members, members of the legislature, associations and advocacy groups, educators, and other stakeholders.
  • Create opportunities for focused stakeholder engagement on key educational topics – particularly for parents and students.
  • Strengthen and focus the Department’s efforts to support school improvement including the implementation of the school improvement features of the state’s ESSA application and research and dissemination of evidence based practices in closing achievement gaps.
  • Drive policy improvement work on the following:
  1. Graduation requirements
  2. Teacher Evaluations and the enactment and implementation of Board approved recommendations
  3. Report Cards and opportunities to improve clarity, fairness and meaning
  4. Assessments and opportunities to appropriately reduce testing, and the exploration of alternative modes of assessment

Refreshing, right? But what have we accomplished in 2017? Well, from my perspective….

WORKGROUPS:

We began by tackling the Graduating Class of 2018 Crisis through a workgroup that included myself, key stakeholders from education, business and community. Our recommendations were included in our biennial budget recommendations and were adopted by the legislature.
http://education.ohio.gov/Topics/Ohio-s-Graduation-Requirements

Important topics emerged from this workgroup that have framed much of our discussion throughout the year. Topics included alternative assessments to demonstrate competency, real world problem-based and integrated curriculum, career-technology paths and importance of 21st century and social-emotional skills.

The Superintendents Assessment Advisory Workgroup then made further assessment recommendations to reduce state-mandated testing. To date, the board has recommended to the legislature to eliminate English language arts and WorkKeys and will vote to recommend that the Class of 2018 Options be extended to 2019 and 2020 graduating classes.  UPDATE:  BOARD VOTED TO EXTEND AT JANUARY MEETING.  RECOMENDATIONS NOW GO TO LEGISLATURE FOR CONSIDERATION.

http://education.ohio.gov/Topics/Ohio-s-Graduation-Requirements

In March, we began work on a 5-year ODE Strategic Plan process with a SBOE Retreat to establish the board’s core priorities. I sit on the ODE SP Steering Committee and the Excellent Educators & Instructional Practices Workgroup. Attracting and retaining high-quality educators has been at the heart of our research and concern. Four other workgroups also include a majority of educators: Student Supports & School Climate and Culture; High School Success & Post secondary Connections; Standards, Assessments, and Accountability; and Early Learning & Literacy. We hope to adopt a final draft this spring. http://education.ohio.gov/Miscellaneous/Search-Results?q=strategic%20planning%20ohio%20department%20of%20education

As a member of SBOE’s Professional Development Workgroup, I discussed and approved our Policies & Procedures Manual revisions.

BOARD ACTIONS:

As a member of the board, I approved the Educator Standards Board recommendations to streamline the Teacher Evaluation process (OTES) and the Resident Educator Program.
http://education.ohio.gov/Miscellaneous/Search-Results?q=resident%20educator%20program

In February, Ohio Every Student Succeeds (ESSA) Plan was submitted to the federal government for review. I worked closely with the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education to include “well-rounded education” in six sections that will continue to position the arts in education as an important component of a child’s overall education. ESSA also offers more opportunities to target resources for our most vulnerable students: the homeless, economically-disadvantaged, and our youngest scholars.

http://digital.watkinsprinting.com/publication/?i=394129#{“issue_id”:394129,”page”:22

http://education.ohio.gov/Topics/Every-Student-Succeeds-Act-ESSA

The board unanimously voted to support ECOT’s repayment of $60 million for inability to verify 2015-16 enrollment. Legal challenges about the ruling from ECOT remain as well as ECOT’s interest in moving to a dropout recovery school. Questions about accurate enrollment data persist for the 2016-17 school year. Related Sponsor Evaluation Review at
http://education.ohio.gov/Miscellaneous/Search-Results?q=sponsor%20ratings%20rules%20and%20evaluation%20tools%20

BOARD COMMITTEE WORK:

As a member of the Achievement and Graduation Committee, I reviewed and adopted the English Language Arts, Math and Technology Ohio Learning Standards. Science, Social Studies, and Financial Literacy Ohio Standards have been under our review and we expect to adopt them at our January 2018 meeting.
http://education.ohio.gov/Miscellaneous/Search-Results?q=ohio%20learning%20standards

I enthusiastically supported adding the Ohio Seal of Biliteracy as an option for graduates.
http://education.ohio.gov/Topics/Learning-in-Ohio/Foreign-Language/Ohio-Seal-of-Biliteracy

OhioMeansJobs Readiness Seal is also one of the nine options available as part of the non-career tech alternative graduation option for the Class of 2018.

http://education.ohio.gov/Topics/New-Skills-for-Youth/SuccessBound/OhioMeansJobs-Readiness-Seal

ODE rolled out a $2 Million Grant opportunity that encourages integrated curriculum. You can count on me to continue to enthusiastically advocate for increasing opportunities for educators to collaborate, especially with their arts colleagues to create important connections across curriculum for deeper student learning!   https://education.ohio.gov/Topics/New-Skills-for-Youth

Online Professional Learning Module for Gifted Training: As you know, I supported the recently approved changes to the gifted rules to require general education teachers who are designated providers of gifted education services to receive high-quality professional development in gifted education. This professional development must meet eight gifted education competencies and include a minimum of 30 clock hours during year one and a minimum of 30 clock hours during year two with additional clock hours in subsequent years. These teachers also receive ongoing support from an educator with gifted licensure or endorsement. To help Ohio school districts meet these requirements, the Ohio Leadership Advisory Council (OLAC) is creating free professional learning resources. Developed by nationally-recognized experts in gifted education, these resources can be used by districts for individual or group-based learning. The first 30 hours is now available.  There is no cost for these modules, but they must be supported by a trained facilitator. More information can be found here. The OLAC website is: http://www.ohioleadership.org

As a member of the Accountability Committee, I voted to modify the newly revamped 22+ Adult High School Diploma program so that individuals working will have their best chance to receive a high school diploma and hopefully continue to gain employable skills.
http://education.ohio.gov/Miscellaneous/Search-Results?q=Adult%20diploma%20plus

We reviewed ESSA Section G: 21st Century Community Learning Centers and Section I: Education for Homeless Children and Youth Program and McKinley-Vento Homeless Assistance Act. My board colleague, Meryl Johnson, gave us an overview of best practices in trauma-informed interventions critical for students affected by adverse childhood experiences (ACES) and reaffirmed a critical need for more counselors and social workers in our schools.

https://education.ohio.gov/getattachment/Topics/Other-Resources/School-Safety/Building-Better-Learning-Environments/PBIS-Resources/Project-AWARE-Ohio/Project-AWARE-Ohio-Statewide-Resources/Trauma-Informed-Schools.pdf.aspx

SPOTLIGHT ON TEACHING:

Dustin Weaver, an English teacher at Chillicothe High School, represented us well as the 2017 Ohio Teacher of the Year. I am confident that Powell’s Liberty Tree Elementary art teacher, Jonathan Juravich, will also prove to be an outstanding ambassador as the 2018 Ohio Teacher of the Year! Working with my districts to nominate excellent educators for this prestigious award is my favorite part of the job! http://education.ohio.gov/Miscellaneous/Search-Results?q=ohio%20teacher%20of%20the%20year

LOOKING AHEAD:

At our January 2018 meeting, we will discuss a resolution to appoint a working group to review and recommend changes to improve understanding and usability of the State Report Card.
I see this as a logical component for review as part of the implementation of our ODE Strategic and Ohio ESSA Plan.  UPDATE:  TABLED UNTIL FEBRUARY MEETING.

Paper vs Computer Testing  questions persist in regard to whether the tests are developmentally appropriate and whether these tests measure knowledge or computer skills.

End-of-Course State Testing has some wanting us to continue to administer the Social Studies EOC test because they are concerned that the Founding Fathers Documents will not be taught otherwise. I have found that this is completely contrary to what is happening in schools. A reliance of memorizing amendments, etc. to pass a test has nothing to do with gaining an understanding of the important of these documents through authentic learning experiences that teachers no longer have time to implement because of testing!

State Report Card data collection re: Chronic Absenteeism and End-of-Course Test Retakes continue to be controversial.

The New Academic Distress Commission, that was added to HB 70 in 2015
in the eleventh hour, remains besieged by numerous legal challenges in Youngstown City Schools. Lorain City School District has become the second district to fall under terms of HB 70, which reduces the elected board of education to an advisory role and replaces the superintendent with a CEO. Also, after the first report card a district receives under HB 70, the CEO has the power to reconstitute any school in the district. As part of that change, principals and administrative staff can be replaced. A majority of the school’s staff, including teaching and non-teaching employees, can also be replaced. The CEO can hire a nonprofit or for-profit organization to manage operations of the school. Schools can be re-opened as a community school, a STEM school, or even permanently closed.  https://www.lsc.ohio.gov/

LEGISLATION TO WATCH:

We developed required legislative policy in response to HB 410 Chronic Absenteeism.
http://education.ohio.gov/Miscellaneous/Search-Results?q=HB%20410

Speaker’s Task Force on Education and Poverty

Senate Bill 85 (Senator Huffman) To create the Opportunity Scholarship Program: https://www.legislature.ohio.gov/download?key=6844&format=pdf

House Bill 200 (Representative Koehler) To create the Opportunity Scholarship Program:

Senate Bill 197 BULLYING (Williams) To require a tiered disciplinary procedure for harassment, intimidation, or bullying in school; to require annual student instruction about preventing such acts; and to create the offense of aggravated bullying as a third-degree misdemeanor. 1st Hearing, Sponsor testimony.
House Bill 170 COMPUTER SCIENCE (Carfagna, Duffey) With regard to academic content standards and curriculum requirements for computer science; to revise educator qualifications regarding computer science; and to authorize public schools to establish computer science and technology funds. 3rd Hearing, All testimony.

Senate Bill 216 (Huffman) includes:

Educational aide permits and educational paraprofessional licenses:
Removes requirement for licensure for non-teaching employees working as an educational aide in non-federally funded programs. (ORC 3319.088)
Removes all qualifications for educational aide licensure besides an initial background check. (ORC 3319.088)

Non-teaching employees as substitute educational aides:
Allows non-teaching employees to serve as substitute educational aides without holding a permit or license. (ORC 3319.088)

Educator license grade bands:
Sets educator license grade bands as only K-8 or 6-12. (ORC 3319.22)

Educator licenses for substitute teaching:
Requires the State Board to establish new standards and requirements for obtaining an educator license for substitute teaching. Prohibits the new standards from (1) requiring an applicant to hold a postsecondary degree in any specified subject area and (2) restricting the number of school days that the holder of the license may work. (ORC 3319.226)

Teacher employment outside of licensure area:
Permits a school district superintendent to employ a licensed teacher to teach a subject area or grade level for which the person is not licensed. (ORC 3319.361)

Go to Ohio Legislative Service Commission for summaries at https://www.lsc.ohio.gov/

FYI!

SBOE meetings can now be viewed

on The Ohio Channel at
https://www.google.com/search?q=the+ohio+channel&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&hl=en-us&client=safari

 

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Join in the conversation and contribute to Ohio’s Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) plan

Under the new Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), Ohio will create a plan for how our local, state and federal programs are aligned to help all of our students be successful. The Ohio Department of Education will be seeking your involvement at a series of meetings throughout the state. Everyone is welcome to attend and share their ideas. Please join us at a meeting near you.

Additionally, the department will host a series of webinars covering focus areas within ESSA. Participants can learn more about specific topics and share their thoughts through a variety of response options.

The Ohio Department of Education is committed to comprehensive and collaborative community engagement leading to the development of our state Student Success Plan. A plan that is deeply rooted in the needs of Ohio’s students, educators and communities requires everyone’s input.

More information is coming soon. Please visit this website for the latest.

http://education.ohio.gov/Topics/Every-Student-Succeeds-Act-ESSA

Paolo DeMaria, Superintendent of Public Instruction

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Much of DeMaria’s 30-year career has focused on school finance and promoting higher student achievement, college readiness and completion, and school choice for families. DeMaria is an unabashed cheerleader for Ohio’s public schools, having sent his children to Columbus Public Schools and The Graham School.

The son of European immigrants, the West Virginia native is the product of the public education systems of Easton, Pennsylvania; Charleston, South Carolina; Scotch Plains, New Jersey; and Greenville, South Carolina. DeMaria has a 25-year record of public service for the state of Ohio, having formerly served as a staff member in the Ohio Senate, assistant director and director of Ohio’s Office of Budget and Management and as chief policy advisor to former Ohio Gov. Bob Taft.

Later, as associate superintendent for the Ohio Department of Education’s Center for School Options and Finance, he supervised the distribution of more than $7 billion annually to Ohio K-12 school districts and developed policies and legislative recommendations on school finance and educational choices for families. Afterward, he served as executive vice chancellor of the Ohio Board of Regents, leading initiatives to improve college completion, increase credential attainment, make textbooks more affordable and increase college readiness.

Before being chosen as chief executive officer of Ohio’s K-12 education system, DeMaria served for six years as principal consultant for Education First Consulting, guiding policy, implementation and strategy projects for K-12 and higher education clients in several states.

DeMaria earned his bachelor of arts, summa cum laude, from Furman University of Greenville, South Carolina, and a master’s of public administration from The Ohio State University’s John Glenn College of Public Affairs. He has co-authored several publications, including K-12/Higher Education Alignment: An Action Agenda for Increasing Student Success, for Core to College and the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association.

His honors include The Ohio State University Alumni Association’s Distinguished State Government Service Award and being named by Columbus Business First Magazine as one of 20 [People] to Know in Education.

DeMaria speaks fluent Italian. He lives with his wife, Patty, and their cats in the Schumacher Place neighborhood of Columbus, Ohio, and often bicycles to work. The DeMarias have two grown children, Sara and Tristan.

Contact Information

877-644-6338
superintendent@education.ohio.gov

SBOE HIRES NEW SUPERINTENDENT

May 13, 2016

To My Fellow Public School Advocates,
After two days of excellent candidate interviews and candid conversations amongst our board members, we have hired Paolo DeMaria as our new state superintendent. As many of you, I, too, was looking for someone who had experience in the field. Although Shonda Hardman was my top choice, I do believe that the sSate Department of Education will benefit from someone with Paolo’s background in policy at all levels of state government, his strong organizational skills, and his ability to build consensus. He has worked for governors from both sides of the aisle and those who I respect and who know him, spoke very highly of his persistence, honesty and genuineness.

Several of his remarks during the interview struck a particular cord with me. They included:
“I believe in servant leadership that creates the conditions to succeed…We should start with the locals’ challenges and know that you do not earn trust overnight…I believe in the power of a collective look at best practices to advance the strategic plan…and [to be ing] diligent in the leadership to implement it…We need to get things done, monitor and measure, and celebrate when we get there…This is a collaborative effort and if people are not involved, they will not own it…We must be much more deliberate in engagement and build consensus around policy.”

In regard to my question about the teacher and administrator shortage, his remarks included:
“We don’t often give teachers the resources they need to be successful…We somehow have failed to keep children at the center of our perspective and we need to bring the students’ voice to the table to help shape policy and implementation…We need to create a climate where teachers want to come to Ohio to teach and a condition so that every day is a joyful day of learning.”

Finally, I was very pleased with the transparent process that President Gunlock put in place and the spirit of collaboration amongst my colleagues. I believe that our unanimous endorsement by a vote of 19/0, speaks to a new day and a new way of communicating at the Ohio Department of Education.

We have much work to do together to make ODE a true partner in your work and through the ESSA process to develop our Ohio Plan; a roadmap that will guide our education system for the next decade.

We have a real opportunity to make Ohio the “go to” state for 21st Century Best Practices. We have a sacred responsibility to create a learning environment that honors the potential of each child and gives them the tools they need to be successful. I believe we have hired an individual who can thoughtfully and creativity lead us through this journey.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer article can be found at http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2016/05/who_is_paolo_demaria_new_state.html

Together, we can build a brighter tomorrow for all our children! I am looking forward to our work with a renewed energy!

Respectfully,

Pat Bruns

SBOE DISTRICT 4

Break Out The Popcorn! Free Movie Offer!

Settle in this chilly weekend for a must-see movie for all of us who care about chuldren!

http://raisingofamerica.org/watch

In just my second month as a State Board of Education member in February 2015, I was invited to a viewing of Episode 1 hosted by the Red Cross, United Way, and Children’s Hospital. The research was so compelling that it has significantly informed all of my conversations since about early childhood education and classroom management.

SPREAD THE WORD!
The series is FREE through April 17th!

The Raising of America Series is a five-part documentary series that explores the question:
Why are so many children in America faring so poorly? What are the consequences for the nation’s future? How might we, as a nation, do better?

The series investigates these questions through different lenses:
What does science tell us about the enduring importance of early life experiences on the brain and body?
What it is like to be a parent today?
And what policies and structures help or hinder the raising of healthy, happy and compassionate children?

The Signature Hour covers all three of these issues. The four subsequent episodes each dive in for a closer look.

A Note on Terminology
The Campaign—Sparking a National Conversation
The Raising of America Campaign films and resources are being used by hundreds of organizations concerned about the futures of young children and their families. Campaign Partners and others are holding community dialogs, policy forums, classes, trainings and other events to spark new conversations about what we as municipalities, states and the nation can do to make a strong start the birthright of every infant in the U.S, perhaps the most prudent investment any nation can make. Campaign Partners include both nationwide organizations with a broad reach and community organizations which dig in at the local level.

The Companion Website
The Raising of America Companion Website is the online, interactive hub for learning about the project and the issues. It provides interactive learning activities, discussion guides, toolkits, video clips, and background information. The website is also the go-to hub for resources to host effective screening events, and to link up with other organizations working to strengthen young children, families and communities.

What is the Series About?
Recent studies underscore repeatedly how a child’s earliest surroundings and interactions shape the developing brain, building the foundations for life-long emotional, intellectual and even physical health and development. Exposure to a nurturing or adverse environment in the early years affects how we think, feel and relate to others as we age, our capacities for empathy, impulse control and even love.

When parents are pressed for time, money and resources, their babies pay the price. Child well-being in the U.S. has fallen to 26th out of 29 rich nations. An increasing number of children grow up with learning, behavioral and physical health challenges. But our kids’ health is not all that’s at risk, researchers argue. By squeezing young families and under-investing in early childhood we are also under-developing America. If we want children to do better in school and in life—and the nation to prosper—we can’t wait until they enter kindergarten.

The studies are many, they are strong and they are persuasive. Yet little or no popular media until now have translated these scientific findings into a compelling new story capable of changing the way parents, practitioners, policy makers and the public think about society’s responsibilities and interest in these first crucial years. The conventional default explanations of child development—good vs. bad parents, genetics and cultural dysfunction—still predominate. Perhaps not coincidentally, little progress has been made in improving outcomes for America’s children.

The Raising of America seeks to spark a first-ever national conversation which asks: what can be done to better assure the conditions all babies and young children need to thrive? Will the U.S. squander its own future, or will it invest in its youngest children and their families?

A Repot from Ohio: John Kasich is N ot a Moderate and Ohio is Paying the Price

From the HuffPost Politics

Posted by ODP Chair, David Pepper

03/23/2016 02:46 pm ET | Updated Mar 24, 2016

Follow David Pepper on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/DavidPepper

Here in Ohio, Democrats are watching the Republican debates intently like everywhere else. But there is one man on the stage we are especially fascinated by — the one who claims to be a moderate. The self-proclaimed adult in the room. The one who says he works across party lines. The one who is tired of everyone else being so gosh darn negative.

This Republican appears so reasonable that Chris Matthews now suggests that Hillary Clinton should choose him as her running mate. And Democrats in other states are beginning to wonder if he is reasonable.

But here in Ohio, Democrats are asking a different question — who is this man and what has he done with the governor we have dealt with since 2010?

Because the John Kasich we have endured since 2010 has been neither a moderate, nor an adult in the room. To the contrary, the far-right policies he has pursued have left a trail of problems that our next governor will have to contend with beginning in 2018. Here are just a few examples:

Attacking Workers

Kasich now claims to have a unique relationship with blue-collar workers. However, he has dedicated much of his time in Ohio to attacking those very workers. In one of his first acts as governor, Kasich attacked public employee unions more fiercely than even Scott Walker did in Wisconsin. He pushed a bill called Senate Bill 5 that would have destroyed collective bargaining for every state and local worker in the state. He declared the legislation essential to Ohio’s economic future, crisscrossing the state to convince low-income workers and other Ohioans that their life would only improve once teachers, nurses, police officers and firefighters made less money and had fewer rights in the workplace. Ohio voters strongly disagreed with Kasich’s cynical effort, placing the issue on the ballot and handing the governor an embarrassing defeat.

But his attacks on workers didn’t stop there. Just last year, with one stroke of the pen, he unilaterally eviscerated the bargaining rights of child care and home care workers. Thousands were instantly dumped from a union they had voted to join.

Trickle-Down Economics

Guided by the same philosophy, Kasich has been a one-trick pony when it comes to Ohio’s budget. Unfortunately, that trick has been the same trickle-down economic philosophy which has never worked nationally and doesn’t work at the state level either.

Budget after budget, Kasich simply gives bigger tax breaks to the wealthiest Ohioans, paid for by the following:

Raising taxes (primarily through a higher sales tax) on those with less, and
Raiding funds previously dedicated to local communities and schools.
On the former strategy, Kasich proposed raising taxes even further on those unable to afford them, and giving out even bigger tax cuts to those who didn’t need them. But his own legislature stopped him.

And the latter strategy has led to continued, painful cuts and layoffs in thousands of communities across Ohio, combined with a flood of measures adding or increasing taxes at the local level. Some villages are literally disappearing from existence, and many other communities remain in fiscal distress years after the end of the Great Recession.

On the debate stage, Kasich is fond of saying that power and resources must be returned to the local community level. As governor, he has done the exact opposite, using the funds of local communities and schools as his piggy bank for greater state spending and tax cuts.

For-Profit Education Scandal

Kasich not only gutted school funding across Ohio to pay for his high-end tax cuts, his broken “model” of school choice has become the laughingstock of the nation. The model is simple: major Kasich and Republican donors have created for-profit schools that are consistently the worst-performing schools in the state. But as public schools and higher performing non-profit charters have been slashed, these failing for-profit schools have only seen their support increase over the same period of time. Their owners and operators are making millions of dollars in profits while delivering abysmal results for Ohio’s kids.

To conceal the failure of this corrupt system, Kasich’s Department of Education was caught changing the scores of the worst-performing for-profit schools — even including the “baked” scores in an application for federal Department of Education funds. The grant was awarded, but it’s now on hold pending an investigation into the falsified data. This burgeoning scandal — known as “Chartergate” — eclipses even Chris Christie’s “Bridgegate” in terms of the dollars wasted, lives impacted and clear connections back to campaign donors.

Kasich attempts to dismiss this activity as coming from deep within the state’s chain of command. However, the official who altered the scores — who has since been terminated — is the husband of Kasich’s then-Chief of Staff, who now serves as his presidential campaign manager.

Most recently, a new scandal has emerged where for-profit “electronic” schools have been caught billing the state for “ghost” students that were never enrolled. More to come.

Women’s Health Care

Ohio Right to Life claims Kasich is “the most successful pro-life governor we’ve ever had in the state of Ohio.” And it’s clear why.

He recently defunded Planned Parenthood even though an investigation into the state’s Planned Parenthood found no wrongdoing whatsoever, and even though no state money given to Planned Parenthood could be used for abortion services. The “defunding” simply led to the evisceration of critical health services to families in need.

But that was just the latest of dozens of pieces of legislation the governor signed, sinking Ohio to the level of states such as Texas when it comes to interfering with a woman’s personal decision whether or not to end a pregnancy, choose adoption or raise a child. Kasich even signed a bill imposing a gag-rule on rape counselors from explaining to rape victims all of the options available to them.

Marriage Equality

In 2013, Ohioan Jim Obergefell married his long-time partner John Arthur in Maryland, where the law allowed them to get married. When John died from ALS a few months later, all Jim wanted was to be listed on John’s death certificate as the surviving spouse. Jim prevailed at the district court level and was listed on John’s certificate. Kasich didn’t like this outcome, so he appealed (even as the Republican governor in Pennsylvania chose not to appeal a similar case). Kasich spent a year and thousands of taxpayer dollars trying to remove Jim’s name from the death certificate and erase their lawful marriage from history.

Jim Obergefell had to take the case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court to finally have his marriage recognized.

Voting Rights

Since 2010, Kasich has signed bill after bill that have been struck down by federal courts as unconstitutional violations of basic voting rights. At the same time, Kasich put into place the most gerrymandered map in the history of Ohio and one of the worst in the country.

Results? A Model — of What Not To Do

Beyond the misleading ideological label Kasich has now adopted, what the debates and media coverage have also masked have been the dismal results of Kasich’s far-right policies. Trickle-down is failing Ohio just as it has always failed the nation, and Ohio’s education system is in shambles. Here are just a few data points:

Ohio is now in its 39th consecutive month trailing the nation’s job recovery — we have benefited from national policies like the auto rescue and the stimulus, but Kasich’s attacks on local communities and Ohio’s middle-income workers have eroded those benefits versus most other states because Ohio’s middle class is still struggling.
Average Ohio wages are lower now than they were in 1984.
There are more Ohio kids living in poverty today than there were in 2008, and as recently as 2014, our infant mortality rate for African-American babies was the worst in the nation.
One in four Ohio kids live in food-insecure households.
Ohio’s major cities remain largely distressed, with critical funds that would otherwise help alleviate urban challenges having been seized by the state and turned into tax cuts for the wealthy
Ohio’s public school system is seeing a meltdown in its national ranking. When Kasich became governor in 2010, Ohio’s public schools were ranked 5th in the nation by Education Week. The most recent ranking placed them at 23rd and falling fast.
America, don’t be fooled by the purposeful rebranding of John Kasich on the debate stage or the failure of the national media to explain his real record here. He has not been moderate as Ohio’s governor. Anything but.

Sadly, the ramifications go beyond presidential politics, into the real lives of everyday Ohioans in all corners of our state. The far-right policies he has pursued as governor are rendering deep damage to the communities, families and children of Ohio — damage that will take years and a dramatic new direction to fix.