Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley released a campaign video Tuesday, urging the state of Ohio to replicate Dayton’s City of Learners initiative on a statewide basis. Whaley is running for governor in 2018.
Whaley launched the City of Learners program in her first day as Dayton mayor in 2014, at the time calling education the “one key issue that we must address if we are at all serious about building a thriving, more prosperous community.”
The City of Learners program had five focal points — high-quality schools, access to high-quality preschool, an increase in mentors, an increase in business partnerships with schools, and expanded summer and after-school programs.
In her campaign video, Whaley focused on preschool, touting the city-backed income tax increase that voters approved last year to give every 4-year-old in Dayton access to high-quality preschool. She pointed to research showing that high-quality early childhood education especially helps low-income children.
In the video, she says if elected governor, she would make high-quality preschool available for every 4-year-old in Ohio, something that would likely require legislative approval for funding.
“The jobs of the future, the jobs our 3- and 4-year-olds will do 20 years from now, haven’t even been invented yet and will require more training and skills than ever before,” Whaley said in a campaign news release. “If we’re serious about investing in education then we need to start with the youngest Ohioans.”
“When I became Mayor of Dayton, I set a big goal – that we would be a city of lifelong learning, nonstop education from cradle to career and beyond,” Whaley says in the video. “Ohio should set a similar goal – to be a State of Learners.”
Whaley is one of several politicians who have declared their candidacy for Governor.
On the Democratic side are Whaley, state Sen. Joe Schiavoni, former U.S. Rep. Betty Sutton, former state Rep. Connie Pillich and former Wayne County Commissioner Dave Kiefer have declared. Former state attorney general and treasurer Richard Cordray, former Cincinnati mayor and talk show host Jerry Springer and former U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich are rumored to be considering a run.
On the Republican side are Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor, Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, and U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci.