Nick McWilliams reporting – Ohio Governor Mike DeWine’s address to the residents of Ohio spanned multiple topics, focusing on a budget that places a priority on children and their future.
Speaking before the state legislature on Tuesday, DeWine began with the idea of a bright future in Ohio, which could only become a reality with increased efforts on education and wellness.
Part of the education focus in the new proposed budget will focus on shifting focus in reading preparations and how they are implemented in schools to attempt to make more children ready for the next reading level to make them more prepared for adulthood scenarios.
“Today, we understand the great value and importance of phonics. Not all literacy curriculums are created equal, and sadly, many Ohio students do not have access to the most effective reading curriculum. In our budget, we are making sure that all Ohio children have access to curriculum that is aligned with the evidence-based approaches of the Science of Reading.”
As a part of the reading focus for education, DeWine also reported statistics that show over half the age-eligible children in the state now being enrolled in the Imagination Library program. He also stated that he wants to see an expansion of the EdChoice scholarship program for schools, and increased available dollars for children within charter schools.
Additionally, the governor asked for passage of a $2,500 per child state tax deduction, and claimed that the new budget would open the door for more affordable child care. He also said that the state will increase funding for children’s services agencies in each county.
On the economic front, DeWine promised a $2.5 billion investment to draw more businesses to the state, promising help in getting operations off the ground.
“We want all regions of the state to participate in Ohio’s economic revival, and for all Ohioans to prosper from it. Every region of the state has good sites, however, many of them are not yet ready for development.”
The proposed budget also earmarks $150 million for Innovation Hubs for economic improvement in communities.
The governor’s office is also asking for an increased focus on mental health and wellness through community care systems, increasing behavioral health workforce, and improving crisis response and treatment options.
“We must face the fact that no Ohioan will ever fully live up to their potential or be able to lead purposeful and meaningful lives if their mental illness remains in the shadows and untreated. Despite the good intentions of the past, our country has never fully built a community mental health system.”
DeWine also promised more housing opportunities, improved nursing homes, and better crime management with violent crimes and responses to community disturbances.
For the full State of the State address and more, visit www.governor.ohio.gov.
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