Preparing Ohio’s Future

Every Ohioan deserves a shot at the American Dream, and that begins with a great education. The DeWine Husted administration will implement less testing and more learning, increase access to technology in all schools, ensure students are college ready or job ready, and make the cost of college more affordable. Ultimately, the goal of the DeWine-Husted administration is educational excellence in every school, for every student. These proposals, combined with our early childhood development plan and workforce plan, are a holistic approach to give our children better opportunities to succeed in life and strengthen the Buckeye State for decades to come.

Less Testing and More Learning

Reduce standardized testing. Standardized tests are limiting educator’s creativity and forcing them to a teach to a test. This interferes with a child’s ability to think creatively and problem solve. The DeWine-Husted Administration will reduce the number of tests that students are required to take, and will provide parents and teachers with more meaningful and timely results. Under Mike DeWine’s leadership, Ohio will put more emphasis on teaching and learning, and develop a school report card that parents can understand.

Create a more equitable funding system. School funding has been and always will be a foundational element of our education system. With 608 school districts throughout Ohio, it is a challenge to design a funding system that serves the unique needs of a diverse state. However, funding is not about systems, it’s about students, and making sure these children have access to quality educational opportunities. The DeWine-Husted administration will create a more equitable funding system that directs state resources toward supportive services for children most in need.

Increase Access to Technology and a 21st Century Education

Modernize technology in Ohio’s classrooms.Too many Ohio classrooms lack the technology that is commonplace in K-12 education today. The DeWine-Husted administration will establish a program to modernize technology in Ohio’s classrooms, freeing our teachers to spend their time and energy on individual student needs. This will ensure that all of Ohio’s kids have access to the best technology and give them a competitive edge for the future.

Incentivize shared services. Some of Ohio’s school districts want to partner with other districts on projects to save money, such as bulk purchasing, insurance, and transportation. In order to give local school districts more flexibility and local control, a DeWine-Husted administration will offer grant funding for innovative and resourceful shared service projects.

Bring career and technical education into the 21st century. Ohio’s career and technical schools often train on outdated technology, in buildings that are 50 or more years old. A DeWine-Husted Administration will cut the red tape that limits the use of Ohio Facilities Construction Commission funding for career and technical schools so that Ohio can prioritize skilled learning. Additionally, the DeWine-Husted Administration will help facilitate better relationships with employers and job creators to fill in-demand jobs by leveraging the expertise and knowledge of JobsOhio.

Make Ohio a leader in computer science and coding. Some Ohio schools lack qualified teachers to teach computer science and coding classes – which are important courses to prepare our kids for the future and expose them to different job opportunities. The DeWine- Husted administration will partner with Ohio’s colleges and universities to develop training and subsidize teachers to become certified computer science educators. Educators who take advantage of the training must commit to teaching at least one remote computer science course to schools who lack a computer science teacher.

Add accountability for electronic schools. We are moving into a digital age where technology is rapidly improving and extending access to learning opportunities for students, especially those with unique needs and abilities. However, the ECOT abuses demonstrate the need to make digital learning services more accountable. The DeWine-Husted administration will establish a pay-for-performance model that requires course completion testing and competency before the electronic school is reimbursed. The school does not get paid unless the student receives the education the state is funding.

Implement age-appropriate drug prevention education in K-12. Mike DeWine has introduced a comprehensive 12-point action plan to combat the drug epidemic, and several pieces of his plan include prevention. The DeWine-Husted administration will work with the State School Board to implement evidence- based prevention education from Kindergarten through 12th Grade. By teaching kids age-appropriate lessons that are proven to work, we can change the culture and get ahead of the next wave of drug abuse problems.

Ensure every Ohio school has access to a mental health professional. Suicide has become an epidemic in our country, and some children are experiencing trauma in their home lives making school their most safe haven. The DeWine-Husted administration will ensure every Ohio school has access to a mental health professional. Now, more than ever, we need to find ways to talk to our children and get them the help they need.

More Vocational Education Opportunities

Encourage businesses to expose students to work opportunities. Ohio is facing a workforce shortage, so we need to ensure we are training kids to be college ready, or equipping them with the skills to be job ready. That’s why the DeWine-Husted administration will create a Student Work Experience Tax Incentive for businesses that provide students with work opportunities. This will encourage businesses – both large and small – to invest in the next generation of workers by providing them with valuable career exposure and work experience.

Encourage coursework for skilled careers. The Ohio Department of Education arbitrarily limits which career and technical courses a student can count toward a high school diploma. This prohibits students from learning skills that prepare them for a 21st century career. A DeWine-Husted Administration will remove these barriers and allow students the flexibility to choose career and technical courses that meet their future goals.

Extend career exposure and training opportunities to Ohio K-12 students. Too many children are faced with an opportunity gap, meaning they lack exposure to the many professions and career pathways that exist. The DeWine-Husted Administration will extend the work of the Ohio Department of Education and the Office of Workforce Transformation to educate kids about different careers so that every student understands the choices they have in life.

Invest in teachers and principals. Ohio’s educators have challenging jobs. The DeWine- Husted administration recognizes these often unsung heroes and will call for a new level of respect for Ohio’s educators and school leaders. They will implement policy reforms that reflect this attitude, beginning with modernized teacher evaluation and professional development systems. The DeWine-Husted Administration will also encourage proven and diverse leaders — like second career professionals and veterans — to become involved in classrooms as teachers, mentors, and school leaders.

Make College More Affordable

Grant predictability and guarantee tuition rates for each class. Students at many Ohio institutions see their tuition and fees increase year after year, when they believed they had signed up for a specific price tag their freshman year. These price hikes and hidden fees aren’t fair or predictable to consumers. A DeWine-Husted Administration create tuition guarantees for each entering class at Ohio public universities and colleges, meaning a student will never pay more than they did their freshman year. This will save families money and reduce student loan burdens for students.

Support lower-income Ohioans obtaining a degree. In 2005, Ohio switched from the Ohio Instructional Grant to the Ohio College Opportunity Grant for need-based aid for lower-income Ohioans. Over the years, state funding has decreased to help lower-income Ohioans pay for higher educational opportunities in our state. The DeWine-Husted Administration will increase state funding for lower-income Ohioans to attend to higher education.

Tie Ohio’s higher education funding system to job attainment. While graduation is the benchmark many students and parents set as a measure of success, it’s really a good-paying career that is the ultimate goal. Ohio has an unemployment rate of 4.5%, but underemployment is estimated to be twice as much. Ohio’s colleges and universities have strong connections to local, state, and national employers and should cultivate those relationships further to ensure that students are employed when they graduate. The DeWine-Husted Administration will work with Ohio public universities to phase post-graduate job attainment into the State Share of Instruction formula to incentivize schools to connect students to jobs.

Improve Ohio’s education attainment. The DeWine-Husted administration will increase access to post-secondary education through college credit plus and by working with Ohio’s public colleges and universities to embed industry recognized credentials into all eligible 2- and 4-year degree pathways

BOTTOM LINE: A good education is one of the first tools we can provide to positively impact children and build a stronger future for our state. The Preparing Ohio’s Future Plan will ensure our children are spending more time learning, that they have better access to technology and vocational education opportunities, and are prepared for the in-demand jobs of the future. Additionally, the DeWine-Husted administration will make college more accessible and more affordable by guaranteeing tuition rates. These are all attainable actions that will modernize our schools and institutions and give Ohioans the competitive edge in a fast-changing world.

Download a full description of Mike DeWine’s Education Agenda, that creates an Ohio that works for everyone.