News Flash! Kasich "Support" for Cleveland Schools Plan Fake
Well, well, well. The chickens are coming home to roost.
Last year, the so-called "Cleveland Plan" for the Cleveland Public Schools was unveiled and shoved down peoples' throats as the greatest thing since sliced bread to browbeat them into passing a huge levy (15 mils). Dutifully, they did.
In the course of the campaign, voters were told "It's so bipartisan — we even have the support of Governor Kasich!"
But it was obvious to me, and should have been obvious to everyone, that that so-called support was false. It's easy to support something that requires nothing of you, that is paid for entirely by someone else — Cleveland's poorest homeowners — and that accomplishes by the backdoor something you want to get done — beating up on teachers and proposing "solutions" that have less to do with education than weakening the teachers' union. Yes, of course, the teachers went along with it because they had no choice. Had they failed to do so, they would have been subjected to a campaign of demonization, led by the Plain Dealer.
What wasn't mentioned much was that the new levy, as large as it is, doesn't fund the wonderful new stuff the Cleveland Plan proposes. It fills the hole left by the state funding Kasich stripped from the Cleveland schools in his last budget. Kasich was most likely laughing up his sleeve at how he tricked Cleveland voters into giving themselves a tax increase to pay for his cuts.
The only way Kasich could have genuinely "supported" the plan was by restoring that funding. Cleveland voters did their part, most probably thinking they were providing funding the new initiatives the plan proposed. But Kasich offered nothing — no skin in the game, just words, And Kasich's new budget proposes not a single extra penny for the Cleveland Public Schools, meaning the cuts are permanent.
Ha ha — fooled you, suckers.
So why did I know this and repeatedly mention it to frantic responses of "Well, we HAVE to do SOMETHING," and people that should have been smarter than me are just discovering it?
This letter appeared in today's Plain Dealer.
Kasich reneges on Cleveland schools: letter to the editor
When Cleveland voters went to the ballot in November, they demonstrated their commitment to the city's schools and their children's future. This pledge -- approximately $249 per taxpayer per year, on average -- will net Cleveland students $85 million in critical resources annually.
Gov. John Kasich, despite his support for the Cleveland Plan and the subsequent levy, has left Clevelanders hanging. He encouraged us to make the tough decisions, urged support for Issue 107 and rewards our community's effort with none of his own. In fact, after this two-year budget expires, the district faces an additional $75 million in state cuts -- enough to wipe out most of the levy. How's that for congratulations?
Unfortunately, Cleveland is not alone. Urban, rural and suburban districts across the state asked voters for more than $1 billion in new taxes last year; most were rejected. The governor said Ohio must help those schools that don't have the resources to help themselves, yet almost two-thirds of Ohio school districts will see no additional revenue in his budget.
For perspective, districts will receive roughly the same amount of funding in 2014 as they did during the 1999-2000 school year if inflation is taken into account.
Kasich's proposal not only takes us back to pre-recession funding levels, but perpetuates the resource gap that our community -- concerned for the well-being of our children -- has fought so hard to overcome.
Regardless of their ZIP code, all of Ohio's children deserve a world-class education. Anything less is unacceptable.
By Nina Turner and Sandra Williams, Columbus
Democrats Turner and Williams of Cleveland represent Ohio Senate District 25 and Ohio House District 11, respectively.
Hate to say this, ladies, but — I told you so.
Kasich can brag about supporting education,but until he's willing to kick in some resources, he's lying. And he should have been called out and pressured on this before the levy was ever passed. In the end though, it's just sad that Kasich is saying there's not enough money to educate poor kids in Ohio but plenty to spread around to the operators of for-profit charter schools (which he would promote outlawing if he were sincere) to enrich themselves.
Kasich didn't renege. He never promised anything — and that's what he is delivering.