Governor Ted Strickland is gathering ideas from businesses, academics, various interest groups, and even some ordinary Ohioans on K-12 education reform. At a recent regional Northeast Ohio "shareholder" meeting, everything from a single, uniform statewide property tax to making teachers work 12 months a year was suggested.
The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported on some of the ideas:
- Have property owners, statewide, pay a uniform 22-mills school tax instead of the range of taxes set by voters in each school district.
- Use median income to determine local school taxes or a combination of median income and property valuation to determine the local share. This would affect cities like Cleveland (and presumably all large and medium-sized cities in the state), where the average income of residents may be lower but the number of businesses makes the school district seem wealthier.
- Eliminate the Ohio Graduation Test and base graduation on a combination of ACT test scores, high school grades, a senior project, and a community service project.
- Create a statewide teacher-pay regime scaled to new, mid-career, and senior teachers.
- Make teachers work year-round teaching, tutoring, and taking summer and professional development classes.
It's unclear whether the regional meetings are intended to gather real input or whether they are window dressing. But, there is no doubt he is serious about pushing his education agenda, the details of which we still wait to see.