Common Core Injected Into Ohio Gubernatorial Race

Congressman Jim Renacci (R-OH) campaigning for Governor.

Common Core was injected into the Ohio Gubernatorial Race by Congressman Jim Renacci (R-Ohio) in a 30-second ad.

Governor John Kasich is term-limited so there will be an open seat. The Republican primary has a four-way race between Renacci, Attorney General Mike DeWine, Lt. Governor Mary Taylor, and Secretary of State Jon Husted.

Renacci calls the other three candidates “Columbus fat cats.”

His campaign’s press release about the ad reads:

While Jim Renacci spent three decades in the business world creating jobs and employing over 3,000 people across Ohio, Mary Taylor, Mike DeWine and Jon Husted have spent a combined 70 years seeking and serving in political office. And as the ad also points out, while Jim Renacci is running on a platform of conservative reforms for the state, Taylor, DeWine and Husted have all abandoned fundamental conservative principles on key issues ranging from Common Core and Obamacare to private sector Right to Work laws.

Here’s the ad:

I should note that Renacci has been in Congress since 2011, and Common Core opposition is not a core issue as far as I can tell by looking at his website.

His Congressional website says the following about education:

As a father of three, I recognize the importance of reforming our education system. Few issues have as great an impact on the future of our children as the quality of their education. Education is one of the greatest equalizers in our society and serves as a ladder of opportunity for all those wishing to pursue the American Dream.

The top-down, one-size-fits all approach to education policy endorsed for so long has proven ineffective. Education is a personal experience and one best handled through state, local, and parental involvement. Whether we are talking about early childhood, K-12, or higher education policies, our children and their parents need more opportunity, flexibility, and quality when it comes to education. The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), signed into law in the 114th Congress, represents a meaningful step toward this end, providing state and local education authorities the tools they need to help their students better succeed. Streamlining spending, reducing the federal bureaucracy’s role in education, promoting flexibility and innovation, improving teacher quality, and empowering parents are all imperative.

Enhanced coordination at the local level and other creative solutions will provide more opportunity for our children. It will take a more intelligent and innovative approach if we are to provide the skills and knowledge necessary for the next generation to succeed. In addition, Congress must implement policies that spur our economy to ensure that young Americans continue to have access to a high quality education and good paying jobs that come through enrollment in traditional four-year universities, community colleges, and career and technical education (CTE) programs.

This Congress, I am sponsoring H.R. 1352, the Preparing More Welfare Recipients for Work Act, which would allow Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) recipients up to age 26 to have their hours spent completing their GED count towards their work requirement – raised from the current age of 20. Additionally, it would allow individuals to count participation in vocational education for up to 24 months instead of the current 12 months. Many in-demand fields require more than two semesters of training, and expanding this timeframe will allow more individuals to pursue the rewarding careers a vocational education offers.

The fact he touted ESSA as a “meaningful step” toward returning local control in education is not encouraging.

Lt. Governor Taylor’s website does not mention education at all. Attorney General DeWine’s website does not have an issues page yet. Secretary of State Husted’s website just focuses on the life and the 2nd amendment issues.

So beyond a 30-second ad, we really don’t know where these candidates come down on Common Core, fighting federal education, assessments, data privacy, and returning control to local school districts. Taylor having been Kasich’s Lt. Governor has to distance herself on the issue and show she’s her own person. Renucci needs to get into the nitty-gritty of how he would actually get rid of Common Core.

Back in August Renucci accused Husted of supporting Common Core, and Husted’s campaign rebutted that, “Jon Husted opposes Common Core and as House Speaker, created the first statewide school choice scholarship to help every child have a chance at a quality education.”

Husted served in the Ohio House from 2001-2009. He was then elected to the Ohio Senate and served until 2011. I don’t believe Ohio saw a Common Core repeal bill until later so I don’t think Husted has a legislative record on the issue. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a crappy legislative record when it comes to education (those who are opposed to school choice would say he already does, but I’m not in that boat).

DeWine having served in the U.S. Senate and U.S. House would have a legislative record which doesn’t look bad on the surface (I’m not familiar with the ESA bill he voted yes on, it appears that it gave people a way to create a tax shelter for their own money).

DeWine is a cheerleader for workforce development, however.

We’ll keep an eye on this race.

3 thoughts on “Common Core Injected Into Ohio Gubernatorial Race

  1. I think you’ll find that all four candidates will come out against Common Core. But if the Ohio legislature would take some action in the current session, Common Core could be gone by the 2018 election. Two bills are pending (H.B. 176 and 181) that would end Common Core. The trouble is that the legislature doesn’t seem to want to deal with the issue, so it keeps getting delayed. Politics as usual.
    NOTE: I am an Ohio resident and conservative activist.

    1. Robert,

      There are Ohio residents and conservative activists who disagree with you. I have a copy of Husted’s letter supporting Race to the Top (going to put up a follow-up post today). If he’s against Common Core I have seen zero evidence of that beyond rhetoric. Rhetoric is not good enough. I would be SHOCKED if Lt. Governor Taylor took a position that is the exact opposite of Governor Kasich. Senator DeWine I learned supported Goals 2000, and he is a proponent of Workforce Development so anti-Common Core rhetoric (which I’ve heard none from him) would ring rather hollow right now.

  2. I believe he is doing what most candidates do…..he is appealing to the issue he knows the voters care about but remains basically clueless and will do nothing to end this assault on education. As long as ESSA is law he will do as he is told if elected Governor. The fact that he supports ESSA and thinks it returns local control should tell any truly informed voter that he doesn’t have a clue. Like most races for elected office it will boil down to a choice between the lesser of the evils. We must repeal ESSA and restore FERPA. That is exactly what I am fighting to do. It is a waste of time to fight at the state level to end Common Core. It is not going to happen and ESSA will make sure it doesn’t happen.

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