The 10th district, which I represent, is mainly rural with some suburban school districts. Both are facing horrendous transportation expense increases with a reduction in state funds due to their decreasing revenues. Some find themselves asking for 4 day school weeks, while others will simply not provide transportation to senior high school students.
I am a vocal advocate for the concerns of the rural and suburban school districts. Having spent over thirty years in the mortgage business, I consider myself to be a fiscal conservative. I am for removing cumbersome regulations and leaving the educational decisions to local boards of education with room for flexibility. The truth is that rural and suburban schools have always performed well. The No Child Left Behind Act would not be necessary were it not for the failing urban school systems. One of the goals of my term on the Ohio Board of Education is to turn the conversation away from charter schools and home schooling. That debate is over. They have a place in the Ohio educational system.
The statistical validity of the Ohio Graduation Test functions well with large systems but fails with small school systems. Teachers are essentially spending a quarter of the year coaching students on how to pass evaluation tests. Thus they abandon the real curriculum. The small school board member also feels the pressure from community members based upon this failed system. The Ohio Department of Education needs to develop a system that responds to smaller school needs.
The Ohio Board of Education needs to take a more proactive role in making sure teachers have what they need to teach. A high school human anatomy teacher that attends my church has not had access to a text book for the last two years. Nationally, it is estimated that each teacher spends $1000 of their own money on supplies and materials for their classes. Our teachers and their students deserve better.
It has been indicated that current State Superintendent Dr. Susan Tave Zelman will not be coming back. Dr. Zelman deserves our thanks for putting students first. I have spoken to a number of current Ohio Board of Education Members and I firmly believe I can accomplish much with them. I will be a strong leader and will demand students and teachers be supported first.
I would appreciate your vote.