Gov. John Kasich should be applauded for including an expansion of Ohio’s Medicaid program in the state budget (“Kasich vows Ohio won’t slow progress; Governor defends plans to expand Medicaid,” Feb. 20).
Medicaid expansion would help Ohioans with autism who have no health coverage through an employer and who do not qualify under the current Medicaid eligibility criteria.
Medicaid expansion will provide access to families who have no access to medical and behavioral health services and are struggling to support their autistic loved ones.
It would expand eligibility criteria for 1.5 million people in Ohio who have no health insurance to qualify for Medicaid benefits. It would generate $23.8 billion in additional federal funds for Ohio’s economy through 2019 to help provide health services.
Medicaid expansion would support individuals with autism by providing access to counseling, social work, and psychiatric services.
Expanding Ohio’s Medicaid program is the next step in providing coverage for individuals with autism in Ohio.
Executive Director Autism Society of Northwest Ohio
Expanding sales tax hurts public
Governor Kasich’s proposal to expand the sales tax to services and reduce income taxes is regressive taxation policy that will increase economic and social divisions in our state (“Governor proposes tax cuts in 2-year, $63.3B Ohio budget; Residents, businesses to see rebates,” Feb. 3).
While no one disputes that sales taxes are regressive, Governor Kasich and his supporters cannot guarantee that lower income taxes will lead to increased investment, growth, and jobs. Individuals and businesses that retain more money from income-tax cuts might re-invest it in our economy. They also might invest it in Mexico, China, or their offshore bank accounts.
Meanwhile, many citizens will pay more in sales taxes than they will save in income taxes. So nothing is new. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer.
Move wisely on certifying teachers
If Ohio seeks a stronger corps of teachers, a good place to start is finding the best candidates and making the certification process more rigorous (“Teaching counts,” editorial, Jan. 31).
But the certification process should not be so cumbersome as to discourage qualified individuals who wish to change careers and become teachers. Requiring stronger academic backgrounds for teaching candidates doesn’t necessarily result in outstanding teachers.
Governor Kasich touts more charter schools, ignoring data that show they do no better than public schools. Also, as your editorial states, the governor is pushing for the third-grade reading guarantee while the program is underfunded.
The governor promises a new teacher evaluation program. Mr. Kasich should be cautious. The Tampa Bay Times reported that the Florida legislature spent millions of dollars on a new test-based and performance-based evaluation system for the state’s 100,000 teachers, only to conclude that it doesn’t work.
If the goal is to improve, relevant data should be intelligently applied, not ignored.
Parents must step up to raise youths
Throwing more money at education is not the answer. Parents need to raise their children to know they are expected to go to school and earn good grades. And if they don’t, the parents will straighten their children out.
Parents should be held legally responsible for their children going to school. If a child does not attend, maybe parents ought to be sentenced to go to school with the child.
Missing a few days’ pay could encourage them to be better parents and demand more respect from their children for themselves and others.