ROUNDUP: Cordray and Sutton Seek to Support Local Communities in Education and End For-Profit Charter School Theft

September 14, 2018

On Wednesday, Rich Cordray and Betty Sutton unveiled their education plan, which will expand wrap-around social and health services, leave more time for learning, and purge Ohio’s for-profit charter schools of corruption.

This plan focuses on empowering students and teachers to be the best that they can be by giving them the resources they need, both in and out of the classroom. They will accomplish this by expanding services like mental health, dental, after-school, and parent support programs as well as emphasizing learning over testing. Rich and Betty will also lead the charge in holding for-profit charter schools accountable so that we don’t see a repeat of the ECOT scandal.

Mike DeWine, meanwhile, failed to hold ECOT accountable for 7 years, and he and Jon Husted still have yet to return $36,000 of ECOT money. They have been part of Republican leadership that has seen Ohio’s public schools drop from 5th in the nation to 22nd.

Check out a roundup of clips on the Cordray-Sutton education plan below:

WATCH: WBNS: Cordray Unveils Education Policy


Cordray would close ‘corrupt’ charters, better fund public K-12
Columbus Dispatch // Randy Ludlow

Cordray said he would be “remorseless and relentless” in putting corrupt charter schools out of business and return some of the $829 million a year that the state spends on charters to public schools to help fund his proposals. Charter schools, which Cordray said are exempt from 140 requirements placed on public schools, would have to play by the same rules as public schools, he said.

Cordray called for better funding of public classrooms during an announcement with lieutenant governor running mate Betty Sutton at the nonprofit PAST Foundation on the Northwest Side, which teaches one-year students and educators in break-the-mold learning.

Student Services, Accountability Top Cordray’s Priorities For Ohio Schools
Statehouse News Bureau // Andy Chow

Cordray says he wants to expand wraparound services for Ohio’s schools. This creates a range of support for students, from mental health services to dental care.

He says today’s students need to be connected to a network of care that he says will make them healthier and better equipped to learn.

“It means that the services will be provided right there at the school where we know the students are going to be, day in and day out, as opposed to the families bearing all the burdens of the logistics and the organization and the transportation and all to get those kinds of services. What often happens is the services falls through the cracks and the kids don’t get served,” says Cordray.

Governor candidate Cordray wants to reduce standardized tests in Ohio schools
Dayton Daily News // Laura Bischoff

Cordray also said he will limit charter schools to those operated by non-profits only. “We have been failed dismally over the past eight years over a lack of accountability over failing charter schools in Ohio.”

He pointed to the now-closed Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow, which had been the nation’s largest online charter school until it abruptly shut down in January. ECOT received just over $1 billion during its 18-year run but its graduation rate was 39 percent.

“Our schools are not businesses and our students are not customers but those involved in the ECOT scandal put profit above our students’ needs. We will prohibit for-profit companies from running charter schools, limiting their operation to non-profit entities,” Cordray said.

ECOT looms over Cordray, DeWine education plans
Toledo Blade // Jim Provance and Liz Skalka

Mr. Cordray, backed by teacher unions, said he would take the number of mandatory standardized tests down to the minimum required under federal law.

“Schools should be about learning,” he said. “Let’s create and carve out more time for learning. For too long Ohio schools have been obsessively focused on test scores rather than real education. We’re one of just 12 states … with high-stakes testing requirements for high-school graduation. Overtesting, together with inadequate funding, have narrowed school curriculums and pushed out other very meaningful ways to engage students.”