State of the States
State of the States: N.C., Ohio
Here are summaries of recent annual addresses by governors around the country.
Gov. Pat McCrory (R) • Feb. 18
Soon after signing a measure that changes teacher-certification requirements and encourages high schools and community colleges to share resources, first-term Gov. McCrory used his first State of the State address to set out a number of additional schools-focused goals.
Mr. McCrory played up his education background—the governor has a teaching degree from Catawba College, in Salisbury, N.C.—in a speech that called for collaboration between what he called the "four silos of education": pre-K, K-12, community colleges, and universities.
The governor drew attention to some less-than-stellar statistics—14,000 dropouts, 65 percent of community college attendees requiring remediation—and connected education to the state's employment woes.
"The disconnect that I've seen right now between employers unable to find qualified talent, even with the high unemployment rate, and the citizens unable to get jobs, must be solved through education," he said.
Vocational education, technology, and collaboration between sectors were the governor's proposed solutions. The governor said he would work to build bridges between the business community and schools, saying that "market-based needs must be an important factor in education funding, curriculum, and results."
He also called for a reduction in advertising for the state's lottery in order to allow more funds for technology in schools and said he would reinstate a state-level education cabinet.
Gov. John Kasich (R) • Feb. 19
Gov. Kasich alluded to education programs in his address to lawmakers while mainly offering a detailed—and at times impassioned—defense of his controversial proposal to expand Medicaid, an unpopular idea among many fellow conservatives.
Leaders of some Ohio districts have previously accused the governor of inadequately funding school systems, particularly after the evaporation of federal stimulus funding. But in his budget proposal released separately earlier this month, the first-term Republican called for increasing K-12 funding from $6.9 billion to $7.7 billion, with an adjustment that would channel more aid to impoverished school systems.
The state's total, two-year proposed general-fund budget is about
$63 billion. Mr. Kasich has also called for the creation of a state-financed, pilot school voucher program for families of impoverished children entering kindergarten. It would expand the following year to 1st grade.
Vol. 32, Issue 22, Page 20