Published Online: December 19, 2006
Published in Print: December 20, 2006, as Higher Bar Sought for College Entry

Capitol Recap

Higher Bar Sought for College Entry

The following offers highlights of the recent legislative sessions. Precollegiate enrollment figures are based on fall 2005 data reported by state officials for public elementary and secondary schools. The figures for precollegiate education spending do not include federal flow-through funds unless noted.

Ohio

The Ohio legislature is expected to adjourn this week and may approve a significant education initiative in the final days: a proposal to require more math and science for students to be admitted to most of the state’s public universities.

Gov. Bob Taft

Republican
Senate:
11 Democrats
22 Republicans

House:
39 Democrats
60 Republicans
Enrollment:
1.8 million

Touted by outgoing Gov. Bob Taft, the “Ohio Core” proposal would help the Republican governor establish his education legacy by requiring four years of mathematics and three years of lab-based sciences starting with the class of 2012. Now, students must take three years of math and are not required to take laboratory-based science classes. The bill, approved last week by the Senate, would allow students who don’t complete the tougher curriculum to enroll in community colleges. Since Republicans control both chambers of the legislature, Gov. Taft has said he thinks the legislation has a good shot of passing.

The bill’s momentum comes despite requests from Gov.-elect Ted Strickland, a Democrat who will take office in January, to wait. Mr. Strickland has argued that the legislature should spend more time contemplating how much the new requirements might cost.

Earlier in the session, as part of Mr. Taft’s Ohio Core plan, the legislature approved $13.2 million to recruit teachers in math, science, and foreign languages. The program will fund teacher-training programs and pay for the development of regional summer academies for high school students in those subjects.

Vol. 26, Issue 16, Page 20

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