Ohio Budget Watch parses the Governor's words on his forthcoming budget plans and how education policy might be affected. They appear to revolve around using Frank Jackson's SB5 "lite" plan
Teachers unions have made clear they are opposed to many of the reforms. The Governor also hinted at what is needed strategically for him to include the Cleveland reforms. Saying there are things Jackson needs to get done in order for him to move this reform package through the legislature is code for the need to line up support from African-American Democratic legislators from Cleveland. This support will be essential to giving the Governor cover in the form of “bipartisan support” as he essentially introduces a plan to brings back many of the provisions of SB5 that were rejected by voters in November. Also interesting in the Governor’s remarks were two references to Ohio’s “urban areas” rather than Cleveland, specifically. The Governor is often an open book, unable to keep secrets about his future plans. Perhaps he’s giving up a sneak preview about future plans to expand the Cleveland reforms statewide, once they’ve had a chance to demonstrate success. Or he’s planning to introduce a budget next week that will affect all urban districts? Time will tell, but it could be very interesting.
So it looks like we might have a re-hash of SB5 in an election year. This is probably not the sleeping legislative agenda that members of the General Assembly had in mind going into an election year. There is a reason we normally do budgets in non-election years. But John Kasich is not a normal Governor. Stay tuned.
It sure looks like Frank Jackson is going to force Republican lawmakers to religislate SB5, in an election year. The only question left is, will any Democrats be drawn into the suicide pact along with them?