In the days leading up to his congressional race against Democrat John Boccieri, Republican Kirk Schuring worked hard on a proposed Ohio constitutional amendment the main feature of which was to take funding of Ohio education from the back burner to the front burner.
The STARK COUNTY POLITICAL REPORT (The Report/SCPR) thought Schuring's effort was more political gambit than a proposal that had a real chance to be accepted by the Ohio General Assembly even though it was controlled by the Ohio Republican Party. If perchance it did, Governor Strickland would have vetoed it inasmuch as he would not standby and allow the success to undermine "brother-esque" John Boccieri's drive for congress.
But today is a different day.
Now Strickland has to deliver on his inaugural day address that he must fix education in Ohio or his governorship will be a failed governorship.
Who could be key in Strickland's quest?
Yes! Stark County's very own. J. Kiirk Schuring (Republican - Jackson).
The Akron Beacon Journal's Dennis Willard, the area's only statehouse writer - and, a darned good one - now that Stark County's only countywide newspaper (The Repository) has let Paul Kostyu go, had this to say in Sunday's edition:
State Senator Kirk Schuring can (if he has the political courage) and should be the governor's point man in the Ohio Senate.
The governor ... [is] taking the right approach to weaning the state from residual budgeting, or the money leftover, and basing the system on scientific research [the evidence-based scientific model].
[He is] also making long-term strides toward reducing the over-reliance on local property taxes to pay for schools.
And an advisory council, which would continuously review not only Ohio's formula, but examine what is working and failing in other states, should be rightly acknowledged as a vital key to keeping the state on track to continuous improvement.
The Report is skeptical that he can break the mold of being a "cookie cutter Republican" and do the right thing by future generations of Ohioans, but yours truly does hold out hope.
Will Schuring disappoint or will he "rise and shine?"