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Government & Politics

Ohio Democrats Want to Send Governor Back to School

photo of Rep. Brigid Kelly and Rep. Kent Smith
State Reps. Kent Smith (right) and Brigid Kelly (left) introduce their legislation to require Gov. John Kasich to spend 40 hours with school employees

House Democrats are taking a proposal from Gov. John Kasich and throwing it back at him with a bill requiring him to spend a week with local schools. 

Democratic Rep. Kent Smith of Euclid accuses Kasich of having a blind spot to local communities. That’s why he and fellow Democrats are proposing that Kasich spend 40 hours shadowing school employees.

This is in response to a requirement in Kasich’s budget making teachers shadow local businesses in order to renew their license.

Smith slams Kasich for getting his start as a state lawmaker without ever holding a local office.

“I think that if the governor would’ve come from local government again being council or township trustee or school board he would have greater sensitivity to local communities and local schools,” Smith said.

Teachers unions have rebuked Kasich’s on-site workplace proposal and have countered that the governor and lawmakers should be required to visit classrooms. But Smith’s bill leaves legislators off the hook.  

The measure specifically targets Kasich and would not apply to any future governors.

Kasich’s spokesperson accuses the House Democrats of playing partisan politics. She adds that the administration spent months gathering input from schools and community leaders before drafting the proposal.