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00:00:04>>Speaker Davidson -- President Finan --
00:00:06Minority Leaders Boggs and Espy --
00:00:11distinguished members of the 122nd Ohio
00:00:15General Assembly -- Senator DeWine --
00:00:19Lieutenant Governor Hollister -- justices of
00:00:23the Supreme Court -- elected state
00:00:26office holders -- members of the Cabinet --
00:00:31my wife, Janet, and son, Peter -- family,
00:00:35friends, and fellow Ohioans... It's hard to
00:00:39believe that it's been exactly six years to
00:00:42the day since I was sworn in as Governor.
00:00:48It's a pleasure to be back in this House Chamber
00:00:51for the State of the State address for the first
00:00:54time since 1993, and it's especially comforting
00:00:58to me since my career in public service began
00:01:02here in 1967. Some are still serving from
00:01:08the "Class of '67" -- Troy Lee James and
00:01:12Bob Netzley. I see we have a new Senator who
00:01:19also was a member of that class -- former
00:01:23House Minority Leader, Pat Sweeney, now
00:01:25of the 23rd Senate District. Welcome, Pat.
00:01:30It's also a great pleasure to welcome Dick Finan
00:01:33-- an old friend and a veteran of this chamber --
00:01:35to your new seat as Senate President. Dick, I know
00:01:41that you will be a great president of the Senate.
00:01:44Without your leadership and commitment, we
00:01:48would not have had a Statehouse renovation
00:01:51and this beautifully restored chamber.
00:02:14I appreciate the cooperation that you and Speaker
00:02:18Davidson have already given me as we tackle the
00:02:22budget and set the agenda for the next two years.
00:02:26And to all members of the General Assembly, I do
00:02:30not take for granted the respectful, cooperative
00:02:33relationship that I have with you. I'm confident
00:02:36that, by working together in bipartisan fashion
00:02:41and putting Ohio first, our fellow citizens will
00:02:44continue to benefit from the fruits of our labor.
00:02:49I have told my Cabinet, most of whom will serve
00:02:53longer than any of their predecessors, that our
00:02:57final two years will not be a period of "winding
00:03:01down," but of "winding up" and finishing our
00:03:03agenda to secure Ohio's future -- a future that
00:03:08takes on added significance to me personally
00:03:11with the birth of our first grandchild, Mary Faith.
00:03:24Like a champion marathon runner, we must
00:03:29summon that extra "kick" to finish and win the
00:03:34race. This is my seventh State of the State speech.
00:03:37More than ever before, I'm a firm believer in the
00:03:40saying that "nothing is certain in life but change."
00:03:43Since I took office in 1991, the leadership of both
00:03:50the House and Senate has changed. Fully half of
00:03:55the membership of the General Assembly has
00:04:00changed -- 66 of you were not here six years ago.
00:04:03And we've seen nothing short of dramatic change
00:04:06in the state of our state as well. In March of '91,
00:04:08when I first stood here on this occasion, Ohio
00:04:11was facing a potential revenue shortfall of
00:04:15$1.5 billion. The "rainy day" fund was being
00:04:19reduced, ultimately to fall to 14 cents. Our welfare
00:04:23rolls ballooned throughout the 1980's. Our
00:04:29unemployment rate was second worst among
00:04:32the ten largest states. And Ohio's economic
00:04:34future was uncertain at best. In many quarters,
00:04:36Ohio was viewed as part of America's "rust belt"-
00:04:38and perhaps we were. Since then, with the
00:04:42cooperation of the legislature and Ohio's
00:04:45public-private partnership, we've gotten Ohio
00:04:48back on the right track. I've always believed that
00:04:53government is just one thread in the fabric of
00:04:56a community, and that government's highest
00:04:59calling is to empower people and galvanize
00:05:03their energy and resources to help solve our
00:05:06problems, meet our challenges, and seize our
00:05:08opportunities. More than any other state, we've
00:05:13put that philosophy into practice by empowerin
00:05:17Ohio's private sector to get involved in education
00:05:20reform and many other operations of state
00:05:24government. And, through my number one
00:05:27management priority -- our Quality Services
00:05:29through Partnership program with our employee
00:05:31unions -- we have empowered our state workforce
00:05:35to help us reinvent state government.
00:05:39Because of our cooperative relationship with our
00:05:41enlightened union leaders, Ohio leads the nation
00:05:45in quality management and will be the first state
00:05:49to have a high-performance work force.
00:06:03I came into office dedicated to the principle of
00:06:07working harder and smarter and doing more with
00:06:09less. We identified a vision for the future called
00:06:13"Ohio 2000/Ohio First" -- our strategic plan for
00:06:15maintaining and strengthening Ohio's place as a
00:06:18national leader and world-class competitor now
00:06:23and into the 21st century. We've stayed focused
00:06:27on the four primary components of that vision--
00:06:30management, education, jobs, and quality of life.
00:06:35And today, we are getting results. First and foremost,
00:06:39we have been fiscally conservative. Since 1991,
00:06:45we have held state spending to its lowest growth
00:06:49rate in 40 years. We've eliminated two state
00:06:53departments, cut the state workforce by over
00:06:565,000 (excluding corrections), and, with your
00:06:59help, abolished 121 boards and commissions.
00:07:14We have rebuilt the state's "rainy day" fund to
00:07:16$828 million, which represents a sensible 5
00:07:21percent reserve. There are some who think
00:07:27that amount is too high and that we should
00:07:31spend it down. I would remind them that there
00:07:35are 22 states with proportionately larger
00:07:37"rainy day" funds than Ohio's. Ours is at a
00:07:41responsible level, and we should fight to keep
00:07:46it that way. Most of us who were around for
00:07:57the '91-'92 recession remember how we had
00:08:02to go through $1.2 billion to balance the budget.
00:08:06Last July, our fiscal conservatism, our "rainy
00:08:13day" fund, and Ohio's diverse economy combined to
00:08:17secure the first increase in the state's general
00:08:21obligation bond rating in 17 years. Our rating is
00:08:25tied with New Jersey's as the highest among
00:08:28the ten largest states, and it's better than all
00:08:31of our competitors on Ohio's borders.
00:08:34We were also able to deliver a "good management
00:08:37bonus" in the form of the nation's second largest
00:08:41personal income tax cut -- $400 million -- which
00:08:44Ohioans will see this year when they complete
00:08:48their 1996 returns. Through the same mechanism,
00:09:04another "good management bonus" will be returned
00:09:07to the taxpayers in '98. Today, I am recommending
00:09:10that you make the Income Tax Reduction Fund
00:09:14permanent. Working in bipartisan agreement
00:09:29with the General Assembly, we transformed welfare
00:09:35from a way of life to a way to work.
00:09:39Today, there are a quarter-million fewer people
00:09:46on welfare than at the peak in 1992 -- a 32
00:09:49percent reduction -- and we have reinvested part
00:09:50of the savings on children and families.
00:10:01In fact, one of our proudest achievements over
00:10:03the past six years is the fact that we increased
00:10:07state support for programs that serve our
00:10:10children and families by 34 percent.
00:10:14We have held our schools accountable for improved
00:10:17performance, and today, we are getting results.
00:10:20Our SAT and ACT scores are above the national
00:10:23average. Our October proficiency test results just
00:10:27released on Friday were the best ever. And I call
00:10:32on the State Board to raise the bar and make them
00:10:35even more rigorous. Our two-year colleges are
00:10:47doing better than ever before at meeting the
00:10:51education and training needs of their local
00:10:53communities and represent the most unsung
00:10:58economic development tool we have.
00:11:03And I meet more and more Ohioans who tell me that
00:11:06the quality education offered by our state
00:11:10colleges and universities is the best education
00:11:15value in America. And, in a recent national survey,
00:11:1810 of our 13 public universities were ranked
00:11:20among the best in the nation. While paying particular
00:11:32attention to the needs of our youngest citizens,
00:11:35we have not forgotten our seniors. For example,
00:11:42we expanded the Homestead Exemption program
00:11:45to bring property tax relief to 76,000 more older
00:11:48Ohioans, bringing the total to 350,000.
00:11:52And we've expanded by 500 percent the PASSPORT
00:11:56program, which helps older Ohioans remain at
00:11:59home, close to their loved ones -- at 40 percent
00:12:03of the cost of a skilled nursing home.
00:12:07We've also worked hard to strengthen Ohio's
00:12:16business environment and improve our competitive
00:12:20position in the global marketplace.
00:12:23Through workers' comp reform and last year's
00:12:27unemployment compensation tax cut, we have saved
00:12:30Ohio businesses almost $1 billion in costs and
00:12:35have transformed each system to take far better
00:12:38care of our customers -- Ohio's injured and
00:12:44unemployed workers. By also paying attention
00:12:54to energy and health care costs, transportation
00:12:57needs, and Ohio's incentive package -- and by
00:13:01focusing on Ohio's strength in agriculture,
00:13:04travel and tourism, science and technology,
00:13:07and international trade -- we have rejuvenated
00:13:11Ohio's business environment into one of the best
00:13:13in the nation. Just ask our customers.
00:13:16Our unemployment rate has gone from second
00:13:20highest to second lowest among the ten largest
00:13:23states. Ohio has led the nation for the last three
00:13:26years in new business facilities and expansions,
00:13:28and we're in the hunt again for '96.
00:13:31Let there be no doubt -- Ohio is America's "jobs
00:13:45and productivity belt." But we must always be
00:13:50aware of what the competition is doing.
00:14:00For example, surrounding states have taken steps
00:14:04toward "retail wheeling" of electricity in order
00:14:07to lower energy costs for consumers -- an action
00:14:10that could threaten Ohio's competitive position.
00:14:14I'm pleased that Speaker Davidson and President
00:14:20Finan are convening a joint select committee to
00:14:24review this issue. As we move forward with competition,
00:14:26we must ensure that our schools are "made whole"
00:14:30from any changes in property tax rates for utilities.
00:14:42The bottom line is that we must maintain Ohio's
00:14:45competitive edge and protect Ohio jobs.
00:14:50As pleased as we rightfully should be with the
00:14:53progress we've made over the last six years, this
00:14:55is no time to slow down. We need to keep the
00:15:00momentum going, recognizing that we must act
00:15:03within the context of fiscal reality.
00:15:09For example, the budget will reflect the full
00:15:13impact of corporate franchise tax credits from
00:15:17earlier jobs bills and last session's permanent
00:15:19increase in personal exemptions.
00:15:22Our new budget already contains a $203 million
00:15:29reduction in personal income tax funds.
00:15:32Revenue growth will not meet earlier
00:15:53expectations, and the amount of new discretionary
00:15:58money available will be extremely limited.
00:16:02Clearly, we have some very difficult choices to
00:16:04make, and I wish I had time to talk about them
00:16:08all. Instead, I want to focus on the one choice on
00:16:13which I know we can all agree -- the need to
00:16:19build on the foundation we have laid to make
00:16:23Ohio's schools second to none, now and in the
00:16:2621st century. Perhaps the most significant thing
00:16:28we have done since 1991 is to reinforce the idea
00:16:33that education is everyone's business -- and that
00:16:39education improvement is our state's number one
00:16:41priority. No state in America has seen the level of
00:16:45involvement and commitment by the business
00:16:50community that we have experienced in Ohio.
00:16:54From the statewide "BEST" initiative, to the
00:16:58local Business Advisory Councils, to the
00:17:00Adopt-A-School program that my wife, Janet, has
00:17:02championed, Ohio's private sector is making a
00:17:06positive difference. And I know that, without the
00:17:12support of the mayors and business communities
00:17:16in Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Columbus, we would
00:17:20never have seen major school levies pass in those
00:17:23cities last year. Building on the Adopt-A-School
00:17:26program and her effort to help Cleveland fulfill its
00:17:28bicentennial promise that every school will be
00:17:33adopted, Janet has agreed to take on a special
00:17:38challenge in attempting to get every school in
00:17:42our urban districts adopted.
00:17:59I'm also pleased that our new budget provides
00:18:02funding for the "Seniors in Schools" program,
00:18:05which will enable more older Ohioans to volunteer
00:18:09their time in our schools.
00:18:12We simply cannot forget the "love factor." I want
00:18:20to spend my remaining time outlining what state
00:18:23government can do to help bring about further
00:18:25education improvement in Ohio. My recommendations
00:18:30are grouped into four subject areas: Families,
00:18:32finance reform, teacher support, and urban schools.
00:18:37First, with respect to helping Ohio's families, I
00:18:40could not be more grateful for the support I have
00:18:44received from the General Assembly since 1991 in
00:18:48maintaining the "line in the sand" that I drew in
00:18:51my first State of the State address on behalf of
00:18:54Ohio's children and families. Your support was never
00:18:58more evident than in 1996, when so many of you
00:19:03stepped up to that line on behalf of Ohio families
00:19:06and helped beat back the serious threat of casino
00:19:09gambling. The "line in the sand" we drew in '91
00:19:23helped create our Family and Children First initiative,
00:19:27which is looked upon as the model program
00:19:31nationwide for helping children get off to a
00:19:33healthy start in life so they can begin school
00:19:37ready to learn. Perhaps the most critical need for
00:19:42families with small children is health care.
00:19:45According to the National Governors' Association,
00:19:48Ohio has the fewest children under two not
00:19:52covered by health insurance. To further help
00:19:55struggling Ohio families, we are proposing to
00:19:59expand Medicaid eligibility to 96,000 additional
00:20:03Ohio children, which should make Ohio one of
00:20:07the nation's leaders in providing health care for
00:20:08the children of the working poor.
00:20:12We also propose financing 2,000 new waiver slots
00:20:27to enable families to keep their children with
00:20:30disabilities at home, where they belong.
00:20:36Perhaps no other initiative better underscores
00:20:38our commitment to children and families than Head
00:20:41Start. Since I took office, we have increased state
00:20:44support for Head Start by nearly 500 percent and
00:20:48remain the nation's leader in this area.
00:20:53The number of children served has nearly doubled,
00:20:56and, with the additional dollars we will propose
00:21:01in the new budget, Ohio will be the first state
00:21:04to provide a place in preschool for every
00:21:08eligible child whose family so desires. Too often,
00:21:24though, we talk about programs and not about
00:21:29God's children. It's now my privilege to introduce
00:21:32Tajuan Burkheart, a 9th grader at East High School
00:21:36in Columbus, who is going to talk about his family's
00:21:39experience with Head Start.
00:23:12Thank you, Tajuan, for putting a face on Head Start.
00:23:17Perhaps in the future, when we think about Head Start,
00:23:21we will think of you. I now want to offer a brief progress
00:23:26report on school funding reforms we have undertaken,
00:23:30along with our proposals for further action.
00:23:35Since 1991, total state spending on schools has
00:23:40increased 36 percent -- essentially double the
00:23:48inflation rate over that period. Under our proposed
00:23:51budget, basic aid funding will have increased almost
00:23:5450 percent over eight years. And, with your support,
00:23:59the actual formula for distributing those dollars has
00:24:02become more equitable. With the support of the
00:24:06General Assembly, our administration was the first
00:24:10in Ohio history to take decisive action to close the
00:24:13equity gap between our low- and high-wealth school
00:24:15districts. In fact, between Fiscal Year '91 and the
00:24:26current fiscal year, state per-pupil appropriations
00:24:31to these school districts grew about 31 percent,
00:24:35while appropriations to the richest districts
00:24:39grew just 5.7 percent. We have targeted $375 million
00:24:48directly to our poorer districts. We propose an
00:24:54additional $213 million in the equity line item for
00:25:01the same purpose in the upcoming budget.
00:25:06In the area of school building assistance, we
00:25:09have earmarked $300 million since 1994, which is
00:25:13more than what was spent on such assistance
00:25:17during the entire course of our state's history
00:25:22prior to then. Today, I am proposing that we again
00:25:31double our commitment to Ohio's school buildings.
00:25:37Of the new $300 million, $200 million will be
00:25:40targeted toward the 60 lowest-property-wealth
00:25:44districts around Ohio, with the remaining $100
00:25:47million designated for use by our eight largest
00:25:52urban districts. Now, a word about school technology.
00:26:07With the strong support of the General Assembly,
00:26:10Ohio is a national leader in bringing 21st
00:26:15century technology into our classrooms through
00:26:17SchoolNet and SchoolNet Plus. Our new budget
00:26:21recommends using $30 million in excess Lottery
00:26:25funds toward our SchoolNet wiring initiative to
00:26:30help schools remedy the electrical problems that
00:26:37some have encountered. We are also recommending
00:26:44additional dollars for professional development to
00:26:49make sure our teachers are prepared to use this
00:26:52vital resource. Recognizing the fact that our teachers
00:26:59do a significant amount of their preparation work
00:27:02outside of school, we are also proposing the
00:27:06elimination of sales taxes when certified teachers
00:27:08purchase personal computers. And this brings me
00:27:16to the third area in our ongoing education
00:27:18improvement agenda -- supporting Ohio's teachers.
00:27:25Next to parents who have not forgotten that they
00:27:28are their children's first and most important
00:27:32teacher, our teachers are the heart of education.
00:27:37As your Governor, I have really enjoyed visiting
00:27:39classrooms throughout the state and getting to
00:27:44know Ohio's heroic teachers. People still ask me
00:27:50why today's teachers aren't as good as they were
00:27:5430 years ago. I tell them that today's teachers are
00:27:58better. The fact is, they face enormous challenges
00:28:02not confronted by their predecessors. And that is
00:28:06why we must do even more to help them.
00:28:13We must provide our teachers with additional
00:28:14opportunities for professional development and
00:28:17growth. We've redefined education to mean "lifelong
00:28:20learning" -- and it should certainly apply to
00:28:22those whose profession it is to help others learn
00:28:26and succeed in life. I want to thank the State Board
00:28:30of Education for developing new teaching standards
00:28:35this past year. Our new licensure system is one of
00:28:38the first and most demanding in the nation,
00:28:40and it will help guarantee that our new teachers
00:28:43can get the job done where it counts- in the classroom.
00:28:52I'm pleased that we also have reached agreement
00:28:55with Ohio's education unions to develop a
00:28:59statewide peer review and mentoring system that
00:29:02identifies and gives help to those teachers who
00:29:03need it. I'm also encouraged that the State Board
00:29:06will soon complete its good work on developing
00:29:09a core set of student standards.
00:29:14Our school improvement agenda obviously centers
00:29:16around our students achieving higher results, and
00:29:21I believe these academic and vocational standards
00:29:26will represent another important step toward that
00:29:27goal. And, today, I'm pleased to announce that 11
00:29:31school districts will participate in our deregulation
00:29:34pilot project, which will allow them to cut through
00:29:38the red tape of existing rules and regulations, and
00:29:43begin testing these new student standards.
00:29:50Ohio has also been a pioneer in underwriting the
00:29:55cost for teachers to apply for certification by
00:29:57the National Board for Professional Teaching
00:29:59Standards, and one of the few to provide them a
00:30:02yearly stipend once they're successful.
00:30:05Ohio leads the nation with 350 teachers in the
00:30:08process of applying for Board certification --
00:30:10and our new budget will contain funding to help
00:30:13800 more begin the process. I'm pleased that Ohio
00:30:17is fast becoming recognized nationally as the
00:30:22professional development state for teachers.
00:30:35One of Ohio's first teachers to become
00:30:37Board-certified is here with us today.
00:30:40She teaches English and language arts at Walnut
00:30:44Hills High School in Cincinnati -- she's an
00:30:47accomplished author of children's books -- and
00:30:50she is Ohio's Teacher of the Year for 1996.
00:30:55Please join me in welcoming one of Ohio's
00:31:01outstanding teachers -- Sharon Draper.
00:31:47By the way, Sharon is one of the four finalists
00:31:49for National Teacher of the Year. Good luck, Sharon.
00:32:02I believe we must take special action to better
00:32:06support those teachers like Sharon who work in
00:32:09our troubled, big-city school systems.
00:32:13We are fortunate in Ohio that we have two model
00:32:18programs -- the Mayerson Academy in Cincinnati
00:32:22(where Sharon serves as a trainer) and the
00:32:26Columbus Urban Academy -- which are aimed at
00:32:28providing teachers in those systems with
00:32:30specialized training and support.
00:32:31To help put this "best practice" in place
00:32:34elsewhere in Ohio, we are proposing to provide a
00:32:38challenge grant of $1 million each, to establish
00:32:42similar academies for teachers in Akron,
00:32:44Cleveland, Dayton, and Toledo. I'm confident
00:32:46these communities will respond to the challenge.
00:32:52I've often said that, at the national level, our
00:32:55number one challenge is dealing with this
00:32:59country's financial deficit and that on the state
00:33:03and local level, it's the "human deficit." There
00:33:05is no question that our urban school districts
00:33:10are contributing to that human deficit. I know that
00:33:14some of you who do not represent urban areas
00:33:18are asking, "Why should I support special initiatives
00:33:21directed at urban school systems?
00:33:23Don't they already get enough?" Although our 21
00:33:31urban districts comprise just three percent of
00:33:35the total statewide, they include 24 percent of
00:33:42our total student population. And just 43 percent
00:33:46of those students are graduating -- including just
00:33:4935 percent in the six largest districts.
00:33:52Ohio's greatest resource is our people -- and
00:33:59thousands of our young people from those urban
00:34:02districts are not fully developing their God-given
00:34:07talents. I believe it is our moral responsibility to
00:34:13respond. Second, businesses that are looking to
00:34:17expand or relocate in our big cities are shying away
00:34:22because they are concerned about the lack of an
00:34:25educated, trained workforce. This issue is already
00:34:30having a negative impact on the state's economy.
00:34:34Finally, Ohio's welfare and exploding corrections
00:34:38expenditures are fueled by the fact that half of
00:34:42the people on public assistance, and three-quarters
00:34:46of those in our prisons, are dropouts, with
00:34:49disproportionate numbers of them coming from
00:34:53our urban areas. Our corrections budget will grow
00:34:58from $479 million in Fiscal Year '91 to a projected
00:35:05$1.2 billion by FY '99 -- a staggering 149 percent
00:35:11increase. If that growth continues for the next eight
00:35:16years, Ohio's corrections budget will balloon to
00:35:22almost $3 billion. We can't let that happen because,
00:35:30practically speaking, there simply won't be any money
00:35:36left for anything else. We have to attack the problem
00:35:40at its roots. Ladies and gentlemen, Ohio is already
00:35:44doing more than any other state to intervene early
00:35:50in our children's lives through our "line-in-the-sand"
00:35:53Family and Children First initiatives. We have to make
00:35:57sure that, when children get to school, the progress
00:36:00continues. We know that all-day kindergarten can
00:36:04have far-reaching, positive effects on a child's
00:36:07later academic performance. For that reason, our
00:36:11new budget will call for an expansion of all-day
00:36:14kindergarten in our urban school districts.
00:36:20You have already authorized America's first, bona
00:36:21fide experiment in school choice.
00:36:25The Cleveland Scholarship Program has gotten off
00:36:28to a solid start -- more than 1,800 low-income
00:36:31students are taking advantage of this program.
00:36:34And I am proposing that we expand the program to
00:36:38include a new kindergarten class each year.
00:36:43And last year, we proposed moving forward with a
00:36:46charter school experiment. This year, let's get it done.
00:37:03We recommend funding a pilot charter school
00:37:07program in Lucas County. I want to commend
00:37:16State School Superintendent of Public Instruction
00:37:25John Goff, the State Board, members of my Cabinet,
00:37:27and the representatives of Ohio's urban school
00:37:29districts who have worked diligently over the
00:37:31past year to find some additional creative ways
00:37:34to effectively address our challenges. First, we
00:37:36agree with Speaker Davidson that we need to
00:37:40ensure that these districts are accountable to
00:37:43the taxpayers. Developing performance audits
00:37:47would identify and quantify performance
00:37:51benchmarks and empower districts to improve
00:37:53on these benchmarks. Second, I support expanding
00:37:58the number of resource centers from the current
00:38:00six to 21 districts. This will help families in all
00:38:03urban districts in preparing their children for
00:38:07school by strengthening linkages to health care
00:38:10and other social services.
00:38:12And with respect to school violence, we provided
00:38:14funding in a prior capital bill for detection
00:38:17devices to keep weapons out of our schools.
00:38:23We should take the next step. I support the creation
00:38:26of discipline intervention grants to deal with unruly
00:38:29students in our urban districts who are keeping
00:38:32everyone else from learning.
00:38:45And, with a 43 percent graduation rate, we've got
00:38:48to do more to help our urban kids stay in school
00:38:51and make sure they graduate.
00:38:53Our Jobs for Ohio's Graduates program does just
00:38:56that by identifying high school seniors at risk
00:38:58of dropping out and putting them back on track
00:39:05toward graduation, further school, the military,
00:39:06or a good job. This year, JOG is serving 9,000
00:39:11seniors in 243 high schools around Ohio, which
00:39:16represents more participants than any other state
00:39:22in the Jobs for America's Graduates program.
00:39:26We propose to dramatically expand the Senior
00:39:30Program to reach 12,000 students over the next
00:39:32two years. We also intend to fund a five-year program
00:39:34that targets students as early as the 8th grade.
00:39:39A third component will expand an existing pilot
00:39:43project that targets 16- to 21-year olds who have
00:39:46already dropped out. Those of you in this chamber
00:39:50who know me well understand that I expect results in
00:39:54everything we do in state government.
00:39:59Frankly, so do the taxpayers, and I assure you
00:40:07that we're going to monitor all of the
00:40:09initiatives I've suggested to you today.
00:40:11One of the reasons I'm so enthusiastic about the
00:40:24JOG program is that 90 percent of the kids
00:40:25graduate and 80 percent go on to post-high school
00:40:27placement. Today, I would like you to meet one of
00:40:35our JOG graduates, Airman First Class John (Jay)
00:40:39Percifull -- a West Carollton native currently
00:40:42stationed with the United States Air Force in
00:40:46Biloxi, Mississippi. Thank you, Jay.
00:42:54Your story underscores how one program or one
00:42:58person can make a difference in someone's life.
00:43:06Just think about your own lives, and the people
00:43:09who made a difference for you. The education
00:43:15challenges I've outlined today are not unique to Ohio.
00:43:24In fact, the problems in America's big-city
00:43:27school systems constitute a national crisis.
00:43:32If ignored, they will result in a national catastrophe.
00:43:38In Ohio, we're doing something about it, because
00:43:41the people of this state understand that a crisis
00:43:45threatening some of us today ultimately threatens
00:43:49us all. And more important, we care. As Dr. Martin
00:43:56Luther King, Jr., whose birthday is tomorrow, once said:
00:43:59"I can never be what I ought to be until you are what
00:44:05you ought to be....No individual or nation can stand
00:44:09out boasting of being independent.
00:44:13We are inter-dependent." Realizing that we must
00:44:18work with parents, local communities, and the
00:44:22private sector, we, the elected representatives
00:44:25of the people of this state, should never rest in
00:44:29our efforts to build an education system that
00:44:33enables all Ohioans to go as far in life as their
00:44:38God-given talents will take them.
00:44:53Some day, when Tajuan and Jay realize their
00:44:56dreams, I suspect that each will think back to
00:45:00that critical point when, as youngsters, their
00:45:04lives turned around -- when people, some of whom
00:45:07were strangers to begin with, cared enough about
00:45:14them to make a difference. With God's help and all
00:45:19of us in Ohio working together, I am confident we
00:45:24will continue to make a difference. Thank you.
Note : Transcripts are compiled from uncorrected captions