COLUMBUS — A proposal from Ohio Gov. John Kasich would add three non-voting members to every local school board to keep them apprised of the needs of the business community.
The idea is one of several proposed by the Kasich administration in its 2017-2018 budget to bolster work training programs and Ohio’s workforce.
Other initiatives would:
- Award high school students with college credits for approved pre-apprentice programs.
- Provide students certification if they can demonstrate skills deemed necessary to enter the job market.
- Make it easier for schools to provide work experience programs for students.
The governor also wants to bolster libraries as “continuous learning centers” that can offer job training courses online. People with low incomes might have a smart phone, he said, but not necessarily home computers and internet access.
“These libraries are critical,” Kasich said. “These things can be a hub where people who don’t have the resources can go and begin to develop some skills.”
Kasich long has advocated for changes to job training and education programs to better meet the needs of Ohio’s businesses. Not all high school students need to go to college, he has said. Some would be better suited to get technical or vocation training that can be put to use in a trade.
Kasich has previously advocated expansion of vocational education to the junior high level and reworking job training programs for adults through county job and family services agency to focus on trades that will offer employment.
State law already provides school boards the ability to appoint a business advisory council to get input on job training curriculum, types of employment available in local job markets and suggestions for developing a working relationship among businesses, labor organizations, and educational personnel.
But Kasich’s proposal for business input would put three people directly on school boards. The appointments would be made by school superintendents.
The goal, he said, is to get business representatives who can offer curriculum and program ideas that will shake things up.
“The reason that I would like to see it … is because business people from the outside who don’t have to stand for election or anything else can disrupt,” he said.
Information for this story was provided by Kasich’s office.