I am writing to express my deep concern that the Governor's Executive Budget will eliminate the Ohio College Opportunity Grant (OCOG) for students enrolled in career colleges. Career colleges provide their students with contemporary, up-to-date knowledge, training and critical thinking skills to meet today's challenging needs in business, industry and government, while enriching the personal lives of students. This is a great advantage to our area businesses.
Students attending career colleges are not traditional 18-year-old students. Many of these individuals have families and are single parents. In many cases public education is impossible for them. They have earned the right to choose the education that will benefit them and their families in terms of employment training and job opportunities.
Private, for-profit colleges contribute to the community in ways such as offering skilled employees, paying taxes and employing staff and faculty members. Our graduates are tax paying citizens who contribute to the economic well being of the state of Ohio.
The proposed elimination of the OCOG grant is a travesty of justice to a student population who has chosen career education over more traditional approaches. The fact of the matter is that public education does not serve all citizens. Education is about choice, and career schools provide a necessary avenue toward education and job training that can not be denied.
I encourage all area students past, present and future to write letters to the governor, state representatives and the Ohio Senate. Ask your families to get involved. This bill will change the financial funding and the options of your educational facilities. We must let the governor know how HB119 will limit our options. This funding is imperative to our constituents and to the well being of the economy of the state of Ohio.
Theresa M. Fisher