Will Rosa offer her two cents on the "65 cents?"
Education reporter Jennifer Mrozowski writes:
It's no Kramer versus Kramer…yet.
But a ranking state Democrat wants to know where Cincinnati Public Schools superintendent Rosa Blackwell stands on her husband Ken Blackwell's education proposal billed as "the 65-cent solution."
Gubernatorial candidate Ken Blackwell proposes a funding system requiring Ohio school districts to spend at least 65 cents of every dollar on "in the classroom" instruction, according to his Web site.
But Rosa Blackwell has been mum on her husband's proposals, which would undoubtedly impact the 35,600-student Cincinnati Public Schools.
A press release today from State Senator Teresa Fedor of Toledo, the ranking member on the Ohio Senate Education Committee, said Fedor joined other education leaders today in criticizing what her office called a disastrous solution for funding Ohio public schools.
Fedor said "the critics include former U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige, former Reagan Administration Secretary of Education William J. Bennett and the Washington-based Thomas B. Fordham Institute which is a non-profit education research organization with ties to Dayton, Ohio."
Fedor called out Rosa Blackwell, questioning "whether or not Secretary Blackwell’s hometown public school system, which his wife oversees, would even be in support of such a poorly devised plan."
"While it sounds easy to support the idea of 2/3 of the schools’ money to be spent in the classroom, it is simply too blunt a proposal that ignores far too many factors," said Senator Fedor. "The proposal focuses solely on input to schools, rather than output - such as what the schools are producing as far as a quality education. It appears to be just another one-size fits all scheme that would inevitably negatively impact vital services outside the classroom - transportation, nutrition, libraries, health-related services - all of which promote higher student achievement. Additionally, there have been no studies to prove that the 65% plan actually increases achievement. Would Cincinnati and other public school superintendents even support the plan?"
Cincinnati schools spokeswoman Janet Walsh said Rosa Blackwell is unavailable for comment today. But will she ever comment?
"She really hasn’t talked at all about the things he is proposing," Walsh said. "They have had separate careers for quite some time."
Walsh said that she doesn't know how classroom instruction was defined in the 65-cent solution, but she added that Cincinnati Public Schools' board of education passed a $428.6 million budget that devotes 71 percent of general fund dollars on schools and school support for the upcoming school year.