Voucher demand falls

We have previously reported how the last budget expanded the availability of vouchers from 14,000 a year to 60,000, and how little demand there was for them. This year demand for vouchers has fallen even further.

The Department of Education received nearly 600 fewer applicants to the Educational Choice scholarship this spring compared to last year
The 16,848 students whose families submitted applications by last Friday's deadline comes in short of the 17,438 who did so a year ago and still far below the 60,000 limit on vouchers. ODE also held a second application window last fall that brought the total applications to 17,516 for use in the present school year.

Let's look at the graph

If parents in school districts that are struggling are rejecting the voucher option, why would the legislature think expansion of vouchers into districts where schools are excellent, prove to be any more popular?

School choice proponents need to begin to understand that the vast majority of parents choose public schools, and that choice deserves the same vigorous support for-profit education receives from the "choice" community and Ohio's current crop of legislators.

Support kids not cuts

Across the board cuts (also know as sequestration), scheduled to go into effect on Jan. 2, 2013, are a bad idea and would be devastating to the programs and services ordinary Americans depend on including education, transportation, public safety, medical research, and environmental protection. These cuts could also lead to the loss of nearly 80,000 education jobs.

Here's a broad look at what these cuts mean at the national level

Across the board cuts would be particularly devastating for education, where cuts would result in:
• Services cut or eliminated for more than nine million students
• Funding for children living in poverty, in special education, and Head Start slashed by billions
• Class sizes ballooning
• After-school programs eliminated
• Programs for our most vulnerable – homeless students, English Language Learners, and high-poverty, struggling schools – decimated
• Financial aid for college students slashed
• Nearly 80,000 education jobs lost – at early childhood, elementary and secondary, and postsecondary levels.

Despite the fact that 5.4 million more students are in our schools today and that costs have increased by 25 percent since 2003, these cuts could actually cause education programs to drop to pre-2003 levels.

And in Ohio

Ohio Sequestration

Education News for 10-25-2012

State Education News

  • Staff earns cash for grades (Dayton Daily News)
  • Springboro Community City Schools is planning to pay staff more than $200,000 in bonuses…Read more...

Local Education News

  • Lakota anticipates spending deficits in next 4 of 5 years (Hamilton Journal-News)
  • Spending deficits are projected in Lakota’s near future, and school officials have said further budget reductions will have to come…Read more...

  • Granville schools, Lodge strike deal on valuation (Newark Advocate)
  • The Granville School District and five other tax districts will not have to refund tax collections to the current owners of Cherry Valley Lodge because of a decrease in the lodge’s property valuation…Read more...

  • BP sets STEM curriculum (Warren Tribune Chronicle)
  • Trumbull County Schools' new curriculum will give students a competitive edge in both their education and their career of choice…Read more...

  • Lorain: School system, city on the brink (WKYC)
  • The city of Lorain and the Lorain City School District are struggling to survive. The area has been hit hard by the economy and unemployment, and families are struggling to get by…Read more...

DNC Convention Day 1 - Democrats Strike Back

Day one of the DNC convention in North Carolina included the release of the Democratic Party platform. The Washington Post has a rundown of all the education mentions, which include this section

Because there is no substitute for a great teacher at the head of a classroom, the President helped school districts save more than 400,000 educator jobs.

We Democrats honor our nation’s teachers, who do a heroic job for their students every day. If we want high-quality education for all our kids, we must listen to the people who are on the front lines. The President has laid out a plan to prevent more teacher layoffs while attracting and rewarding great teachers. This includes raising standards for the programs that prepare our teachers, recognizing and rewarding good teaching, and retaining good teachers. We also believe in carefully crafted evaluation systems that give struggling teachers a chance to succeed and protect due process if another teacher has to be put in the classroom. We also recognize there is no substitute for a parent’s involvement in their child’s education.

Former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland delivered a stemwinder of a speech

“Mitt Romney proudly wrote an op-ed titled, ‘Let Detroit Go Bankrupt.’ If he had had his way, devastation would have cascaded from Michigan to Ohio and across the nation,” Strickland told the crowd Tuesday night. “Mitt Romney never saw the point of building something when he could profit from tearing it down. If Mitt was Santa Claus, he’d fire the reindeer and outsource the elves.”

Strickland led off by lambasting Romney’s opposition to the 2008 auto rescue, which was especially critical to Ohio’s industrial economy.

“If he had had his way, devastation would have cascaded from Michigan to Ohio and across the nation,” Strickland said.

But far more than a simple policy speech, Strickland portrayed Romney as a morally suspect and deeply un-American villain willing to do anything to make a dollar no matter who was hurt. His Caribbean holdings and past use of a Swiss bank account drew the toughest condemnation.

“Mitt Romney has so little economic patriotism that even his money needs a passport,” Strickland said. “It summers on the beaches of the Cayman Islands and winters on the slopes of the Swiss Alps. In Matthew, chapter 6, verse 21, the scriptures teach us that where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. My friends, any man who aspires to be our president should keep both his treasure and his heart in the United States of America.”

The highlight of the evening for the gathered Democrats was a speech by First Lady Michelle Obama, that brought tears and applause from most in attendance

Here's the word cloud of her speech

Day one of the DNC convention then, saw the Democrats strike back at the Republicans, whose own convention has produced little bounce in the polls.