COLUMBUS - State Senator Jerry C. Cirino
(R-Kirtland) today will introduce new legislation to improve access to a quality higher education in Ohio, reduce the financial burden on students, and meet the state’s needs for in-demand jobs.
“I look forward to working with Chancellor Gardner, the presidents of Ohio’s universities and community colleges, and leaders of career development programs around the state as this legislation progresses," stated Senator Cirino. "We will collaborate to find solutions that will increase academic and training options while improving outcomes for our students. I hope that this legislation will strengthen the working relationship between institutions of higher education and business owners as we work to meet the needs of Ohio’s dynamic workforce.”
Provisions of the bill will seek to address a number of issues that have been identified for students seeking to complete their higher education and fill Ohio's workforce needs by:
1) Aiding students who incur debt without finishing their four year degree in finding a new, affordable path forward.
2) Providing Ohioans with more, lower cost higher education options.
3) Enhancing transparency and accountability of higher education institutions.
4) Affirming educational freedom of speech and expression in the classroom.
Additionally, the bill includes the Second Chance Voucher Program, which Cirino says, “will allow students whose educational careers have been disrupted to possess the financial means to continue and complete their education."
"The program is designed to encourage students to complete their educational and training goals so they can pursue a successful career and encourage universities to improve their career and academic advising to secure improved outcomes," added Cirino.
Senator Cirino plans to formally introduce the bill during today's Senate session, which will then be referred to committee for consideration.