State official shut out of School-to-Work sessions
News Herald - June 27, 1998

    State Board of Education member Diana M. Fessler is protesting her recent exclusion from a National School-to-Work meeting held in Cleveland.

    Fessler, a critic of the School-to-Work concept that is prevalent in Ohio public schools, was barred from attending a STW session in which she says strategy was to be discussed by representatives from eight states that received STW money from the federal government.

    She was also kept out of a later STW communications task force meeting.

    Fessler points out that state law directs the State Board of Education to administer distribution of federal funds for public education in Ohio. The state is basically the middleman in channeling federal School-to-Work money to local districts.

    Gov. George V. Voinovich calls School-to-Work "an integral part of our overall strategy to develop a skilled workforce and a strong state economy."

    Critics like Fessler, who represents a district near Dayton, say it is not the purpose of schools to serve as job-training centers.

    In a letter to U. S. Secretary of Education Richard Riley protesting her exclusion from the meetings, Fessler wrote: "STW is not the issue. It is whether the general public, through their elected representatives, have access to critical public information regarding the work being done to reshape our schools, our economy, and our system of government."