News for March 21th, 2011

The week starts with a lot of coverage of S.B.5, and the reckless budget that takes a $3.1 billion axe to education in Ohio. Starting with the Dispatch

Dove, the Worthington teacher and Ohio's reigning teacher of the year, opposes Kasich's education agenda. He said the only benefit for teachers and schoolchildren is that the debate itself is making the public realize changes are needed.

"The downside is, when we get these short, quick answers and proposals on a subject that's incredibly complex," Dove said.

A Plain Dealer columnist writes

The manner in which Gov. John Kasich and his political allies are trying to ram this legislation through and their dismissive attitude toward public employees tell me that the voice of working people in this state doesn't matter to the politicians who support Senate Bill 5.

As public employees, we are the nurses, teachers, firefighters, librarians, cops and first responders who provide critical services every day for our fellow Ohioans. We are not to blame for the current financial crisis, but we are willing to do our part to fix this broken economy.

The Dispatch goes on to provide some limited coverage of the radical plan to privatize Ohio Schools

"Resources are extremely limited, and we think we should focus those resources on the schools that 90 percent of our children attend," said Matthew Dotson, of the Ohio Education Association, the state's largest teachers union.

Under Kasich's plan, tuition vouchers - 28,000 this year and 56,000 in 2013 - would be available to students in schools ranked in academic watch or academic emergency for two of the previous three years. That would be about 200 schools this year.

An article discusses where the current attar of play is with S.B.5. It's clear that the Republicans in the House are having some problems crafting a bill that can garner the votes needed

"The last thing we want to have happen to this bill is have it go to a conference committee," Blessing said. "It will really turn into a circus then."

House Speaker William G. Batchelder, R-Medina, said last week that there are a great number of potential amendments to the bill.

The pressure of rallies all across the state, like this one in Newark on Saturday is clearly having an effect.