The urgent push for millions in federal aid to save Ohio teaching jobs this year appears to have been for naught.And in case you forgot, 3BP warned you about back in early August.
It turns out that there weren't thousands of educator jobs here that needed saving. Not yet, anyway.
A Dispatch survey of 17 of Ohio's largest school districts found that fewer than 500 teachers, secretaries and other school workers lost their jobs this year. More than half of those districts, which account for about 20 percent of the state's students, laid no one off. Districts that did let school employees go brought many - if not most - back right away. Some simply needed to downsize staff as enrollment had shrunk over time.
So as the state prepares to distribute Ohio's $361 million share of the federal Education Jobs Fund to districts and charter schools, many school officials say they will sock the money away for next year rather than use it to rehire teachers and other staff members now. Even if districts chose to bring back the recently-displaced employees, they likely wouldn't make a dent in the $361 million account: To rehire those 500-or-so workers in the biggest districts, assuming an average salary of $50,000, would cost less than $3 million.
Make no mistake, this was yet another misuse of taxpayer dollars that Ted Strickland supported.
So did Mary Jo Kilroy, Steve Driehaus, John Boccieri, Zack Space, Charlie Wilson, Marcy Kaptur, and Betty Sutton.
In a political environment that has voters begging for fiscal responsibility, these Democrats chose to side with the teacher's unions over the will of their constituents.
They'll regret it.