The education system is one of the most important institutions in the United States. No longer are Ohio's students competing with those across the state or nation, but globally with students thousands of miles away. Ohio must have a sound education system to make sure our children are given the best opportunity for success in the future. Along with educating our next generation, we must also provide the needed schooling for those seeking employment, whether it be through higher education or workforce development training. The more Ohioans who receive a quality education the better their chances will be competing for higher paid jobs, which will benefit Ohio's economy. Two key ingredients of a successful education system in Ohio are equal opportunity for education and providing the appropriate funding levels for our schools.
Parental Choice for Education
Parents play a vital role in their children's educational success. It is not only important, but a fundamental right that families are empowered to make the best decisions on the education their child receives. By allowing parents to make these important decisions, we can ensure that their child's best interests are always put first and not ignored by bureaucratic decision makers unaware of each child's individual needs.
We know that children are unique in their needs and abilities, why should they be forced into a "one size fits all" system of education? Parents know their children best and know in which environment their children thrive. I support an educational system for Ohio that recognizes this distinction and allows options along the path to educational success to ensure all of Ohio's children receive an education that best meets their needs and prepares them to be successful and thriving adults. Ohio leads the nation in offering meaningful options for parents who want to provide a better education for their children. I am proud to support successful school choice initiatives such as the Educational Choice Scholarship Program and the Autism Scholarship Program.
As the momentum for school choice builds around the United States, Ohioans are finding that different education options revitalize communities, empower families, and enable students to reach their full potential.
Adequate funding is necessary for a proper education but we must make sure the money is being used efficiently and always with the student as the #1 priority. In Ohio, primary and secondary education is a partnership between state and local government. The Ohio Constitution requires the General Assembly to "make such provisions, by taxation or otherwise, as will secure a thorough and efficient system of common schools throughout the state." An investment in quality education for our children is an investment in our future.
It is imperative that we guarantee our tax dollars are reaching our children in the classroom and not being consumed by administrative bureaucrats. School districts must be held accountable for how they allocate their money. True educational success combines the responsible allocation of resources and efficient use of tools to best meet the needs of students. Some of Ohio's most successful schools spend far less than the state average--these schools provide a model for struggling districts.