Eye on Education



Get to Know Governor John Kasich


John Kasich is Ohio’s 69th Governor, and a Republican.

He was narrowly elected to the position in 2010, getting 49 percent of the vote to beat out Democratic incumbent Ted Strickland.

Before becoming governor he was a host and commentator on the Fox News Channel on Heartland with John Kasich from 2001 to 2007, but pursuing the state’s highest post wasn’t his first foray into politics. He also represented Ohio’s 12th congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1983 through 2001.Kasich was also the youngest member elected to the Ohio Senate when he was chosen to represent Ohio’s 15th district when he was 26 years old. He also made a run for president prior to joining the Fox News Network in 2000.

Kasich’s gubernatorial campaign focused largely on fiscal responsibility, a theme he has carried with him into office.

When it comes to education, Governor Kasich has made no secret of his strong disagreements with teachers unions, and in fact all unions. He supports Senate Bill 5, which would limit the collective bargaining rights of public employee unions in the state. Prior to his election as Governor, Kasich gave a speech to Ashtabula County Republicans in which he talked about the need to “break the back of organized labor in the schools.”

He is also a proponent of establishing a performance-pay system for teachers. The current state budget requires school districts receiving federal Race to the Top funding to adopt performance-pay systems.

Kasich has also said that Ohio school districts spend too much on administrative personnel.

Kasich allies pressured former State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Deborah Delisle to leave office following turnover in the State Board of Education. The current Superintendent of Public Instruction is Stan Heffner, who was previously serving as the interim director. Kasich’s education adviser had been up for the position, before dropping out due to ethical conflicts.

Governor Kasich is also a supporter of “school choice.” Under the budget he signed into law in summer 2011, the state’s voucher program – EdChoice – was more than doubled from 14,000 to 30,000 with another increase the following year to 60,000. During his inauguration speech, Kasich said “more choice, more accountability, more dollars in the classroom instead of bureaucracy will improve our schools, and we will have a significant reform agenda.”

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