Editorial roundup

The (Ashtabula) Star-Beacon, Dec. 18

Ohio Board of Education members made a prudent vote Tuesday to hold off on implementing new graduation requirements…

The board voted … to delay the pre-graduation tests that would have meant fewer current juniors would graduate…

State Superintendent Paolo DeMaria will now lead a committee … which will recommend the best course of action to the school board this spring…

What we have in this situation is another clear example of state officials failing to coordinate — or at least consult with — any school officials on a local level. While lawmakers’ quest to improve education and standards is admirable, the state’s execution has routinely earned an F. New standards are a good and necessary idea, but not having a better grip on the way those standards will affect students … as well as how they will be implemented, is the height of folly.

That being said, the board’s move … to suspend the higher graduation standards should only be temporary. More time — and communication — is clearly needed for a smoother roll out, but settling for lower long-term standards is not acceptable. … The bill … was designed to better help students enter the workforce and college… Having students not just graduate, but graduate fully prepared to continue their education or workforce training, must be the state’s — and educators’ — ultimate goal.


The (Tiffin) Advertiser-Tribune, Dec. 13

Five months into the fiscal year, Ohio’s general fund budget already has a shortfall of more than $360 million. Gov. John Kasich is warning the state is “on the verge of a recession .”

In the context of a $36.3 billion budget for the year, that gap may not seem large…

But there are signs revenue shortfalls may be increasing month by month, and there are seven months left in the fiscal year..

State Budget Director Tim Keen has said financial “cushions” built into the budget should keep the state out of the red for the current year, however.

Still, revenue shortfalls do not bode well for Kasich and lawmakers as they begin thinking about a new two-year budget, to be enacted next spring. Kasich has said he plans to reveal his budget proposal early in 2017…

Revenue shortfalls often bring calls for tax increases, especially from bureaucrats who don’t like to be told they have to trim spending.

But if Kasich is right — if Ohio indeed is teetering on the edge of a recession — the last thing the economy needs is a tax increase. In fact, taking more money out of the pockets of hard-working Buckeye State residents and job-creating businesses could push the economy over the edge.

The governor and legislators should keep that in mind in planning a new two-year budget.