In 2010, Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce published a report warning that a majority of the nation’s jobs would soon require at least some post-secondary education.
In 2010, Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce published a report warning that a majority of the nation’s jobs would soon require at least some post-secondary education. In Ohio, the prediction was 57 percent. Six years later, a Lumina Foundation study found that only 43 percent of working-age Ohioans had a post-secondary degree or certificate. Together, these reports pointed to a looming crisis: Unless Ohio ramped up its efforts to offer high-quality training and improve career pathways, businesses would struggle to fill job openings and the state would face cascading economic effects.
To their credit, state policymakers have implemented a plethora of policies aimed at improving the state’s career pathways. But despite these efforts, Ohio’s talent pipeline has only marginally improved. Employers struggle to find employees with the right skills, workers lack access to the training they need to fill open positions, and although high schoolers are eager to explore in-demand job pathways, they largely lack the opportunities to do so. The pandemic exacerbated these issues, but even before Covid, Ohio’s rate of educational attainment was too low to meet employer needs.
What to do? ExcelinEd and Ohio Excels have some ideas, and they offered them in a recently published brief that outlines four recommendations aimed at improving learner outcomes, addressing workforce needs, and increasing economic mobility. The recommendations build on each other, so let’s examine them as steps Ohio should take to build on its previous efforts.
Step one: Evaluate the return on investment of career pathway programs
Ohio has improved its overall data transparency in the last few years. But in education—especially in the education-to-workforce realm—there’s still a ton of inaccessible information. For example, Ohio doesn’t currently link K–12, post-secondary, and workforce outcomes. Without these data, it’s impossible for state and local leaders to determine whether career pathways successfully put learners on track to well-paying jobs in in-demand industries.
To fix this, the brief recommends that Ohio conduct a biennial return on investment (ROI) analysis that would assess both the quality and equity of career pathways. This analysis would allow the state to determine whether pathways are aligned with employer demand; evaluate student participation and outcomes for each program; and determine whether current offerings deliver on federal, state, and local investment. In short, the ROI analysis would become the “north star” by which programs and pathways are evaluated.
Step two: Identify, increase access to, and promote high-quality career and technical education pathways
Right now, Ohio doesn’t have an effective system for identifying which career pathway programs are high quality and offer the most value to students. The state’s quality program review does include a post-program placement indicator and requires the collection and analysis of labor market data, but overall reviews largely focus on outputs—like credential attainment—rather than outcomes, like wages and whether learners are working part or full time.
Once Ohio starts conducting an ROI analysis, though, that will change. The outcomes data provided by the analyses will equip state leaders to identify which programs and pathways are effective and most closely aligned to current workforce needs. From there, leaders can make data-driven decisions about how to boost program quality, where to invest more (or less) funding, and which pathways should be expanded or scaled back. It also opens the door for the state—or an outside entity hired by the state—to closely examine the most effective programs and identify best practices that can be implemented elsewhere.
Step three: Revise career pathway funding to focus on high-value programs and reward student success
If Ohio sets the policy stage by establishing biennial ROI analyses and using the results to identify high-quality pathways, the next step is to strategically dedicate funding to the programs and pathways that offer students (and by extension, the state) the most value. One way to do so is to modify the funding formula to include a student outcomes incentive that rewards high-quality programs and the attainment of valuable credentials.
Another way is to differentiate funding based on programs that are linked to higher-skill, in-demand, and middle- or high-wage occupations. State law tiers career and technical education funding according to specific industries, with priority industries that have the most pressing workforce needs receiving more funding. Although that’s a step in the right direction, the brief argues that it’s better to fund programs based on their links to occupations rather than general industries.
An example offered earlier in the brief illustrates why. According to Ohio’s Top Jobs List, the state has a significant need for home health aides, licensed practical nurses, and registered nurses. All three occupations are part of the health industry, which is considered a priority under the funding rules. But home health aides earn a median salary of only $23,000—the equivalent of approximately $11 per hour—compared to the $46,000 earned by practical nurses and the $68,000 by registered nurses. Thus, although these occupations might be in the same industry, they don’t offer the same value to learners.
Step 4: Strengthen industry credential lists to prioritize high-value credentials
Industry-recognized credentials have the potential to be mutually beneficial to both learners and employers. But a recent study found significant misalignment between the credentials employers demand and those that are promoted by the state. To ensure that credentials live up to their potential—and to build on the improvements that the previous three steps will generate—the brief recommends that state leaders strengthen Ohio’s credential landscape by ensuring that promoted credentials are valuable to employers and students. It also recommends linking promoted credentials to “intentional” pathways into college and career and focusing on outcomes via post-secondary, wage, and employment data.
Ohio has improved its career pathways by leaps and bounds over the last decade. But there’s still plenty of work to be done and no time to waste. The four steps outlined above could have an immediate impact, especially if the first is incorporated into state law via the current budget cycle. Here’s hoping state lawmakers feel the same.
Almost a decade ago, my former boss Terry Ryan wrote: “Education governance in Ohio is broken.... The governance structures for education in this state are multi-layered, fractured, and leaderless. No one is really in charge. The buck stops nowhere.”
He was right. With its Byzantine governance model, Ohio has long suffered from weak education leadership and muddled policy implementation. Time and again, governors and state legislators have worked hard to create initiatives that aim to drive higher achievement, only to have reforms undermined by an anonymous state board of education. State superintendents have struggled to find their voice, as they must tiptoe around a nineteen-member board that has the power to fire them. Heck, Ohio hasn’t even had a permanent superintendent for most of the past two years—and running. Lacking clear direction, Ohio’s education policies have often been indecisive and directionless, frustrating schools and likely playing a role in the state’s mediocre student outcomes.
Fortunately, there’s some light at the end of this tunnel. Last week, the Ohio Senate passed legislation (SB 1) that would overhaul K–12 education governance at the state level. The bill, which Fordham supports, heads to the House, where the lower chamber is already holding hearings on SB 1’s companion legislation (HB 12). Like former governors of both parties who have supported governance reform efforts in the past, Governor DeWine has also signaled support for the bill.
In a nutshell, the bill would create a more coherent governance structure by making the state’s education chief an appointee of the governor and included in the cabinet (à la the chancellor of higher education). This would make clear that governors are responsible—and held accountable—for the execution of education laws and progress in schools statewide. It would also strengthen Ohio’s education chief, who would answer to the governor instead of a massive and oft-divided board. As authority is shifted to the governor’s office, the role of the state board of education would be curtailed; under SB 1, it would mostly handle matters of educator licensing, much like a medical board.
In Senate committee hearings, dozens of school and business leaders expressed support for SB 1. Dublin City Schools superintendent John Marschhausen said, “Education leadership needs to be improved; we need a clear vision and direction.“ Also in support of the legislation, Rick Carfagna of the Ohio Chamber of Commerce (and former state representative) noted the need for “greater emphasis...on ensuring accountability for Ohio’s education system.”
But there were some naysayers, too, mostly from progressive groups. Their criticisms largely focused on potential executive branch overreach and a diminished “people’s voice” in education. The testimony of Susan Kaeser from the League of Women Voters encapsulates the position: “There are no checks and balances in this situation.... SB 1 concentrates too much power in one person’s hands [i.e., the governor]. It removes the public voice in selecting who guides education policy and closes the public out of the policy making process itself.”
Those statements are way over-the-top. First, it’s absurd to argue that “there are no checks and balances” under SB 1. Last I checked, the bill doesn’t eliminate the legislative branch, the elected officials who are called upon to restrain the power of the executive. This tried-and-true system of checks and balances is on display all the time in Columbus. State legislators—even from the same party—routinely push back on or modify the governor’s policy ideas. They exercise oversight of executive agencies, and with the power of the purse, they can even reduce their budgets. If, under SB 1, the department of education were overstepping its bounds, the legislature should step in and ask tough questions, either behind closed doors or in open committee. We see this happen on Capitol Hill when federal lawmakers grill the secretary of education and other agency heads in public hearings. Of course, SB 1 maintains the judiciary, which checks the other two branches of government.
The powers of the legislature are nothing to scoff at, and shouldn’t be dismissed or forgotten in the debate over SB 1. In fact, the bill likely increases legislative engagement in K–12 education, as the General Assembly no longer has to wrangle with the state board when it has concerns about the direction of education in the state. And under the bill, the Senate also has the power to confirm (or not) the governor’s appointee, authority that it does not presently when a state superintendent is hired. This heightened legislative oversight is precisely the “greater emphasis” on accountability that Carfagna mentioned in his testimony.
Second, the people’s voice is far from silenced under SB 1. Even without a policymaking state board, Ohioans will still have multiple avenues for engaging in education debates. Let’s count the ways.
- Local school boards: Many decisions, including some of the most politically sensitive topics in education, are made by locally elected school boards. Parents and community members can petition these bodies to address their concerns; they can also have their views heard at the ballot box when board elections roll around.
- Local tax referenda: School finance is not just a matter of state policy. Local decisions about how much funding districts receive (and how much citizens are required to pay in taxes) are hugely significant. Parents and citizens have a voice in those decisions when districts ask them to vote on local tax issues.
- State senators and representatives: As discussed above, members of the General Assembly have a duty to check the executive, and they also have a constitutional responsibility to be good stewards of the K–12 education system. If Ohioans are concerned about the governor’s policies or the department of education, they can and should bring their concerns to a state representative or senator.
- Governor: Nothing is stopping Ohioans from going right to the top and expressing their views to the governor. Just as importantly, as with state legislators, citizens should hold governors accountable for fulfilling their education promises through the ballot box.
- Parental choice: Finally, parents, in particular, have a clear voice in education through their choice of schools. As educational options expand in Ohio, parents won’t necessarily need to go to elected officials to have their demands met. They can simply “vote with their feet” and find a school that implements the policies and practices that they want for their children.
SB 1 aims to clean up Ohio’s school governance mess. Rather than supporting the work of the legislature and governor, the current state board—something of a “fourth branch” of government—has evolved into a body that erodes rightfully enacted laws and undermines the “will of the people,” as expressed through their selection of a governor and state legislators. This needs to stop. Congress doesn’t defer to a national board of education on federal policy; neither should the Ohio General Assembly. U.S. presidents don’t have their secretary of education chosen by a board; nor should Ohio’s governor. With any luck, the state will soon have the governance structure needed to tackle the myriad challenges facing its schools and students.
During his first term, Governor DeWine established a first-of-its-kind initiative aimed at helping schools address the non-academic needs of students. Known as the student wellness and success (SWS) fund, it awarded $675 million on a per-pupil basis over a two-year period to public schools of all stripes. To access funds, districts and schools were required to develop a plan for collaborating with at least one state-approved community partner, and were provided with a list of allowable programs and services on which to spend the dollars.
Two years later, DeWine proposed increasing SWS funding to $1.1 billion. This time, though, the legislature didn’t bite—largely because they were facing the increased costs of a new school funding formula. To pay down some of those costs, lawmakers eliminated the SWS fund as a standalone program, and incorporated those dollars into the overall funding model.
Now, with his second term underway and another budget being debated, Governor DeWine is aiming to re-establish the SWS fund. In his recently released budget recommendations, the governor charges the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) with notifying public districts and schools each fiscal year of how much of the state share of the base cost is attributable to the staffing cost for the SWS component. In other words, ODE will be required to annually tell districts and schools how much of their state funding is intended to pay for SWS efforts.
From there, districts and schools must spend the funds on certain initiatives, programs, or services that have been approved as allowable uses for disadvantaged pupil impact aid. The list includes items like physical and mental health services, community liaisons, family engagement and support, and services provided outside typical school hours. That’s not much different than how things are currently done. The catch, though, is that districts and schools will now be required to spend at least 50 percent of the funding on physical or mental-health-based services or a combination of the two. Thus, although something like family engagement and support services would be an allowable use of some SWS funding, schools can’t spend all of their SWS dollars in those areas.
Under DeWine’s proposal, districts and schools would also be required to do the following:
- Develop a plan for how they’ll use their SWS funds “in coordination” with a community mental health prevention or treatment provider or a local board of alcohol, drug addiction, and mental health services, as well as one of the community partners identified under continuing law.
- Share the aforementioned plan at a meeting of the district board or governing authority and post it on the district’s or school’s website.
- Submit a report to ODE at the end of each fiscal year that describes the initiatives on which they spent SWS funding. Starting in FY 2024, all funds must be spent by the end of the following fiscal year, and unspent funds must be repaid to the department.
That’s not all, though. To bolster his attempt to re-establish the parameters of the original program under the new funding formula, DeWine has added some teeth to the new requirements. If ODE determines that a district or school isn’t spending its SWS funds in accordance with the aforementioned expectations, the department is permitted to develop a corrective action plan. Those that are found to be out of compliance with this plan can have their SWS funding withheld. The upshot? Although Ohio districts and schools currently receive state dollars that are intended to fund efforts to support non-academic needs, there aren’t any provisions in law that require them to do so. DeWine’s plan would change that by mandating they spend SWS dollars on student wellness activities or face the consequences.
Children and youth were a focal point of the governor’s state of the state address, and the SWS fund was one of his signature education policies, so it shouldn’t be surprising that DeWine would want to re-establish the initiative under the state’s new funding system. It’s also understandable that, in the wake of a pandemic that wreaked havoc on the mental health and wellbeing of students, DeWine would want to ensure that funds earmarked by the state to pay for SWS initiatives are actually being used for that purpose. Research about whether addressing non-academic factors can lift academic achievement is mixed, but for many—including, it seems, the governor—meeting the non-academic needs of students is a moral imperative. Under DeWine’s latest SWS proposal, districts and schools would be expected to tackle the need head on.
As new kids on the school choice block, education savings accounts and pod schooling are grabbing the headlines these days. But an old stalwart—interdistrict open enrollment—is also worthy of attention. These policies have been around for decades in many states, generally yield the largest choice programs wherever they are established, and typically draw less opposition than their charter and private school choice peers. A new report from Reason Foundation examined Wisconsin’s program as an exemplar and deems it a model that other states should consider emulating.
At its most basic, interdistrict open enrollment allows families living within the boundaries of one public school district to send their children to schools located in another district. Rules regarding district participation, transportation, and funding vary from state to state.
In Wisconsin, open enrollment began as a bipartisan effort in 1998. Each school year, districts are required to identify the number of seats they will make available for open-enrollment students based on data such as student-teacher ratios and building capacities. The number of openings by school building and grade level must be publicized so that families have a list of what is available and where. Students may apply for a seat in up to three different districts. Districts can evaluate applicants based on their discipline history and truancy, as well as whether they believe they can meet the needs of the students. Random lotteries result if demand exceeds capacity. The primary application window runs from February to April of the previous school year. There is also an alternative application window in late summer specifically for students who have been the victims of violent crime, have experienced bullying, or moved to Wisconsin from another state after the primary deadline.
On the funding side, money is transferred from the district of residence to the receiving district. The dollar amount, which is state funding only, has increased every year but has always been less than the average per pupil funding amount (state and local funding combined) in the state. Receiving districts must accept this amount—$8,125 per pupil in 2020–21—as full funding, and no additional tuition can be charged to parents. Home districts keep an average of $5,624 in funding per departed student (again, state and local combined), and even the lowest-funded (a.k.a. wealthiest) districts retain more than $1,800 per student with no further requirement to provide services for them. In 2016, far larger amounts were approved for students with individualized educational program (IEPs), amounting to several thousand dollars per student above the normal transfer amount, reflecting the additional services needed. Receiving districts can also apply to the state for further reimbursement after an IEP student’s first school year if the actual cost of serving them exceeds the regular amount—up to $30,000 per student. Finally, low-income families are eligible for transportation reimbursement from the state based on a per-mile amount between home and school. However, all families opting for open enrollment must provide the transportation themselves, and needy families must accrue a year’s worth of costs up front before they can even request reimbursement. The reimbursement fund is limited and thus generally does not fully pay for eligible miles.
In analyzing participation data, the report provides four key findings. First, increasing the window for program entry increases participation. Open enrollment jumped nearly 20 percent in the first year that Wisconsin opened the second window, despite limitations on who could apply at that time. Second, families are motivated by academic performance. Districts with better outcomes on state tests tend to gain more students via open enrollment, while districts that perform poorly tend to lose more students. Third, districts that lose more students than they gain through open enrollment in a given year initially improve their performance on state tests, although these effects dissipate after three years. Fourth, increases in the transfer funding amount are correlated with greater district participation. As the amount of funding transferred to the receiving district has increased over time, districts have taken in more students through the program.
These findings are correlational, not causal, but that doesn’t stop the authors from being very jazzed about them. Their recommendations: more money and more transparency to boost all the benefits observed, and other states should follow Wisconsin’s model.
Certainly there are some positives in Wisconsin that are worth emulating elsewhere. Requiring districts to quantify and advertise openings and centralizing parental applications are huge improvements on other states’ optional participation and district-by-district, family-by-family processes. Making sure that home districts keep some funds does work to stifle predictable dissent from net losing systems, but obviously there is a limit to this as the amount following students grows. There is also some evidence that non-academic factors such as racial composition of schools and size of the student body play a factor in incentivizing moves. And finally: However much a program like this brings more resources into districts having more open seats, a skeptic might suggest that student-teacher ratios and building capacities don’t magically change as a result. Surely there is a simpler way for the state to buy (or create) more open seats in more good schools.
Nevertheless, we return where we began, noting the durability and popularity of interdistrict open enrollment. Nearly twenty-five years ago, Wisconsin’s program began with a mere 2,500 participants. Despite limitations, it continues to grow. In the 2020–21 school year, Reason reports that nearly 8.5 percent of all public school students in the state—more than 70,000 kids—opted for a district school other than the one in which they resided. That is really the key takeaway.
SOURCE: Will Flanders, “K–12 Open Enrollment in Wisconsin: Key Lessons for Other States,” Reason Foundation (February 2023).
The latest report from UVA’s Partnership for Leaders in Education is breathlessly upbeat about the opportunities for radical, disruptive changes in K–12 education.
The authors interviewed eighteen “strategically selected” superintendents, half of whom were connected with the partnership’s previous innovation and improvement work, and solicited feedback from another twenty-five individuals at various leadership levels. The focus was on opportunities to speed up Covid-disruption recovery with a goal of improved outcomes for students, among other things. The analysts synthesized their responses and identified four broad areas in which these leaders have been innovating to achieve “dramatically improved results.”
First up: innovative secondary models. This area largely focuses on how and how well high schools prepare students for a range of postsecondary options, including college and career. Areas of innovation include career and technical education specific to regional employment needs, improving access to early college courses, and increasing project-based learning opportunities.
Second: far-reaching academic acceleration. Actions highlighted here include reevaluating priority standards and pacing guides to squeeze more content into available time, extended day or year calendars, changing curricular materials away from those that have not worked, and a greater focus on social-emotional learning.
Third: creative staffing. Some examples include higher teacher pay to aid in retention, grow-your-own programs to boost recruitment, and new community partnerships to help diversify the adults working in all capacities in schools.
Finally: equitable resource reallocation. This means reviewing how dollars are allocated in districts and individual schools and making changes to prioritize real student needs.
How did these transformations—some of them very big asks indeed—get underway? Leadership, say the authors. Not through top-down edicts and sweeping revamps by newcomers, but by building teams and creating buy-in from large groups of individuals, and then investing in the training needed to equip the future doers to go forth and do. A number of district leaders are featured throughout, along with analysis of their impacts. However, details on the outcomes of most efforts are scarce, and the timelines indicate that many of them likely started before the pandemic. Given the effort required to start—let alone complete—these transformations, the Covid-era framing of the report seems unlikely and a bit too convenient.
This report is mainly sizzle with a little bit of steak, with absolutely no gristle allowed. For example, discussion of Cleveland Metropolitan School District’s “successful” luring of the Say Yes college scholarship program to northeast Ohio does not include the precarious funding gap that is only partially plugged by an unplanned infusion of one-time ESSER money from the city. This is not to impugn the efforts, the potential benefits, or the commitment of city officials, but implementation and cost realities are notably absent throughout this report.
America’s school leaders have certainly learned a lesson or two from the fallout of pandemic disruption, and most want to do things differently to dig out. But if entire entrenched bureaucracies have to give way before any such transformations can get started (let alone stick), then two other impacts of the pandemic—enrollment losses and a burgeoning of school choice—will be the actual guiding forces of transformation.
SOURCE: William Robinson, Amy Dujon, and Margaret Graney, “Exploring New Frontiers for K–12 Systems Transformation,” UVA Partnership for Leaders in Education (February 2023).
NOTE: Today, the Ohio House Primary and Secondary Education Committee heard testimony on HB 12 which would, among other things, make substantial changes to the state’s K-12 education governance. Fordham’s Vice President for Ohio Policy provided proponent testimony before the committee. These are his written remarks.
I am here today to testify in support of House Bill 12. This legislation would represent a major restructuring of education governance in Ohio and would move the state toward a more coordinated, coherent approach to K-12 and workforce-development policy implementation.
Why is a change necessary? Ohio students today encounter challenges that they are too often ill-equipped to face. We’ve all heard the data on K-12 education. But since the pandemic, it’s gotten even worse. On Ohio’s state tests, only 53 percent of eighth grade students are proficient in English and only 43 percent are on grade level in math. Using the higher—college ready—NAEP standards, Ohio’s eighth grade proficiency numbers dip to 33 percent in reading and 29 percent in math. It’s clear that we must find ways to improve student achievement in K-12 education.
For those inclined to discount test scores, the long-term data indicates that students struggle after K-12. While around 53 percent of Ohio high school graduates enroll in a college or university, only about 30 percent actually go on to earn two- or four-year degrees. These numbers shouldn’t be surprising given that even with the rise of co-requisite remediation, one in five Ohio students going to college still requires non-credit bearing remedial coursework.
Quite simply, too many students leaving high school today are ready for neither college nor work. Ohio’s economic future and—just as important—the lives and long-term happiness of our citizens demands change.
What does this have to do with the state board? The board has a host of responsibilities under current law (3301.07 ORC), but probably it’s most important is to “exercise leadership in the improvement of public education in the state.” This duty—always paramount—has become especially crucial in the wake of the pandemic, during which hundreds of thousands of Ohio students fell behind academically. Black and Hispanic students, those with special needs, and children from low-income backgrounds have been hit the hardest.
Unfortunately, on this front, the most important to Ohio’s students—the board has fallen short. Before expounding on this view, I want to make clear the deep respect that I have for members of the state board of education—both past and present. I’ve testified before and interacted with board members and believe they are doing their best to make a difference on behalf of students. In many ways, it’s an almost impossible job. It’s a board that is designed in a way that—through no fault of its members—prevents it from functioning efficiently and implementing the education laws that the legislature passes. Nineteen voting members—split between appointees and elected members—is a recipe for gridlock, discord, and a lack of accountability. And anyone paying attention over the past couple of years has seen that and more.
Areas where the board and/or its structure has hurt the state’s efforts to improve public education:
1. Failing to focus on the big things—Entirely too much time in board meetings has been spent discussing parliamentary procedure and political resolutions that are under the purview of the General Assembly not the state board.
2. Lowering expectations for students—On multiple occasions, the state board pushed to lower Ohio’s graduation requirements and urged lawmakers to grant diplomas for things like attendance, capstone projects, and volunteer hours.
3. Moving too slowly—From hiring a new state superintendent to implementing the ACE ESA program to conducting five-year rule reviews, the state board’s slow committee process and failure to act in a timely manner on these and other issues is detrimental to students and often subverts the intent of the legislature.
4. Lacking in accountability—At the end of the day, under Ohio’s current education governance structure neither the governor nor the state board has ultimate authority and responsibility for improving educational outcomes. Each can—quite plausibly—stand and point the finger at the other when things don’t work out as hoped. From Academic Distress Commissions to charter school sponsor evaluations, when implementation went awry no one was ever really accountable.
To reiterate, we stand in support of HB 12. It would call upon governors to take on a stronger leadership role in agenda setting, policy design, and the implementation of initiatives aimed at improving readiness for college and career. In the realm of K–12, Ohio has a fragmented system in which governors rightly run for office on how to improve education but an almost anonymous state board of education—with less accountability as a result—actually exerts the most influence over policy implementation. The result has been uninspiring academic achievement which creates hardships for our students. By granting the governor greater leadership over education, we will finally have some semblance of accountability for education outcomes.
Governor DeWine and future governors—regardless of party—should be allowed to oversee a unified state education and workforce agency. HB 12 would significantly improve the likelihood that initiatives are faithfully carried out. This is surely why governors of both parties, including Governors Celeste, Voinovich, Strickland, and Kasich have at times sought more formal authority in the realms of primary and secondary education. Of course, this is not to say that governors should always get what they want: Checks and balances are essential to any governing model. But the check on the governor should come primarily via the legislature and, of course, through the will of the people who ultimately hold him or her accountable at the ballot box.
The time is right to make these changes. Post-pandemic, Ohio students are facing tremendous challenges to get back on track. We need strong, aligned, bold leadership to improve our education system. Unfortunately, our current governance structure for K-12 education has proven not to be up to the task. While restructuring alone may not deliver the results Ohio needs to secure its future prosperity, the changes proposed in HB 12 would create conditions that promise more seamless transitions for students and a renewed accountability around academic achievement.
Thank you again for the opportunity to speak with you today.
Ensuring that all Ohio students receive an excellent education remains an important priority for state and community leaders. As Governor DeWine himself recently noted, a quality education for all is a “moral imperative” for Ohio. Making good on this obligation starts with a solid understanding of the state of K-12 education in Ohio. In that light, we are pleased to present Ohio Education by the Numbers.
In its sixth edition and fully updated for 2023, this publication contains a wealth of data on student enrollment, school options, performance on state and national exams, post-secondary readiness, educators, and school funding. It also includes recent data that continue to show the impacts of the pandemic on student learning.
Whether you’re a lawmaker, reporter, community or business leader, or a parent or grandparent, this booklet is designed for you. As a readily accessible resource, we hope you’ll find it to be a go-to guide as you discuss education in your community.