In Strickland’s recent State of the State speech, Governor Strickland attempted to use lyrical gymnastics to avoid the fact that he had cut state funding for education.
Well, this cut is real, whether he likes it or not, and it’s being felt throughout the education community.
Rising costs, state funding cuts and a drop in property values are causing school districts to struggle to keep out of debt.
Schools continue to ask their communities to fill the financial gap through operating levies based on property taxes. But, as the economy stays stagnant, districts are finding cash-strapped voters reluctant to pay additional taxes.
Schools are experiencing increased costs because of growth in enrollment, increasing health insurance premiums and rising costs of supplies and materials, and salary negotiations, among other things. But they are seeing a reduction in state funding based on recent reallocations under Gov. Ted Strickland’s education plan.
Nearly four years ago, Ted Strickland said his Administration should be considered a failure if school funding wasn’t fixed under his watch.
Clearly, the educational communities in counties like Warren have a clear understanding of the Governor’s failure to live up to his promise. The question then becomes, how much of an effect will it have on the Governor’s re-election effort?
Rhetoric like his from four years ago can easily come back to haunt a campaign. Of course, a clear failure like this one isn’t enough to disable a campaign, but it does provide Kasich an opportunity to knock Strickland off the tracks for a few days during key points in the fall.
Usually a pretty safe Dem voting bloc, many teachers in Ohio are not happy with Governor Strickland. Whether their unhappiness is enough to pull the lever for John Kasich or even not vote at all is yet to be determined, but Strickland clearly has some work to do.