State Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) today reacted to Governor’s Kasich’s State of the State address, saying that the reality on the ground for working people does not match the rosy picture painted by the governor Wednesday night in Marietta. The Youngstown lawmaker noted that the governor especially failed to address the real state of education in Ohio.

“Tonight, when Ohioans tuned in to Governor Kasich’s State of the State address, they heard a version of the slick, highly marketed campaign stump speech that citizens in primary states across the country have already heard,” said Lepore-Hagan. “What Ohioans didn’t hear is the real state of our schools.

“Since 2011, Ohio’s standing in public education has plummeted under Kasich’s administration. State cuts to local communities have left schools without the resources required to provide a quality education to our children, while Ohio’s charter industry continues to fail our children and leave a black mark on the state of education in Ohio.

“Finally, as parents and teachers know all too well, the governor orchestrated the state takeover of the Youngstown City Schools behind closed doors, a plan to override local control and community-based solutions and push students into failing, for-profit charter schools.

“The national media may have bought into ‘Candidate Kasich, the moderate’, but Ohioans, especially those in the Valley, know the real Governor Kasich.”

During Kasich’s tenure, Ohio’s education rankings have tumbled from fifth in 2011 to 23rd nationally, according to the education-industry trade publication, Education Week. School funding is still lagging behind pre-recession levels, with half-a-billion dollars less flowing to public schools since 2008 while Ohio charter schools receive an historic $1 billion in taxpayer dollars.

Last year, Kasich’s top education advisor was found to be illegally scrubbing bad charter school grades while online charters overinflated student attendance data, potentially fleecing taxpayers of up to $200 million.

Lepore-Hagan highlighted that in contrast to the governor making a pit-stop from the campaign to come to Marietta, Democratic lawmakers are hard at work at the statehouse pushing legislation that will have a real positive impact on working families. In January, Democratic leaders of the House and Senate announced their “Focus on The Future” agenda; an eight-bill package Democrats say will ensure economic stability for the next generation of working people in Ohio.  

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