Buckeye Bob's bill

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Ohio Governor Bob Taft has signed an unusually innovative bill that will increase the state's teacher capacity in mathematics, science, and foreign languages.

For starters, the $13.2 million bill targets funds at improving and expanding teacher training in hard-to-staff core academic areas, including the creation of accelerated licensure programs for both career-switchers and veteran teachers willing to switch to these subject areas. The plan will also expand the use of regional Education Service Centers as sites for alternative route programs.

Additionally, the plan commits to some fresh solutions to staffing problems, including coordinating "teacher sharing" between districts and placing local university instructors in high schools. The Bush Administration proposed the latter as well, but only coughed up $25 million for a program designed to cover the nation.

There's also talk of differential state subsidies of teacher preparation based on teaching area, a particularly pioneering idea. Ed schools would get more state money to educate a math teacher than an elementary teacher, for example. Quite a sensible idea. Good work, Mr. Taft.