COLUMBUS - Gov. Ted Strickland crossed the state Thursday to promote his $53 billion spending blueprint as anger flared among advocates of education choice over his plan to scrap the state voucher program outside Cleveland and cut off state funding to for-profit charter schools.
Strickland surprised many Wednesday when he said in his State of the State speech that he would stop students in other cities at low-performing schools from receiving the vouchers to pay for tuition to attend private and parochial schools.
The new Democratic governor also said his budget will prohibit for-profit companies from running state-funded charter schools, as he seeks to funnel more resources to public education within a cash-strapped state budget.
His spending plan increases state spending at just 2.2 percent a year on average, a rate barely lower than the last budget under GOP Gov. Bob Taft and less than any budget in the past 42 years.
"The charter school movement in Ohio has been a dismal failure," Strickland said during a Thursday stop in Cleveland.
"What I'm asking for in terms of charter schools is simply that they are held to the same standards of fiscal and educational accountability that we are expecting out of our public schools." . . .