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Rep. Goyal helps honor 25 educators

May 19, 2009:

Jami Kinton
Mansfield News Journal

LEXINGTON -- Twenty-five people were recognized for their service to education Monday at the North Central Ohio Education Association banquet.

Every two years, the association nominates and recognizes people for becoming nationally board certified, a friend of education, displaying outstanding service, creating a top-notch newsletter and for donating significantly to NCOEA. Mansfield School Education Association President Tina Adams also was given the Ohio Educational Support Professional of the Year award.

"Having our ceremony two years apart gives people more time to achieve at higher levels and to reach more of their goals," NCOEA secretary and awards chairwoman Jen Lepard said.

The banquet was at Dutch Heritage in Lexington.

"You are honoring all aspects of what it means to be a professional," said Bill Leibensperger, OEA vice president.

NCOEA is comprised of educators from 37 school districts in six counties, including Richland, Ashland, Knox, Morrow, Crawford and Huron.

Ohio Rep. Jay Goyal was the guest speaker. His address touched on education issues at the state level.

Goyal addressed some issues going on in Columbus.

"It's no secret we're in very difficult financial times," Goyal said. "We're seeing friends, family and neighbors losing their jobs, and we're seeing that reflected in our state budget. This is the most difficult budget most people around the Statehouse can remember dealing with. We saw a large deficiency coming in 2008, and our Governor Ted Strickland was very proactive in dealing with the anticipated budget, and cut back on spending in the 2009 fiscal year."

Goyal said Strickland made $1.9 billion in cuts in fiscal year 2009, but that wasn't enough.

"The governor proposed putting caps on base rates within the open enrollment market to help cover Ohioans with preexisting conditions," Goyal said, noting the proposal has already passed in the House. "Also, if you're in a health insurance plan with a company and have a child, they used to have to be off your plan by age 23. Now the children can be up to age 29 before they have to be taken off."

Goyal said a tuition freeze will continue for two-year institutions and for the first year for four-year institutions for the next two academic years.