This originally appeared in the Tuscarawas County edition of the Bargain Hunter.
It’s probably happened to you.
A couple of Saturdays ago, I was southbound on I-77 heading into Tuscarawas County. I was traveling the speed limit – 60 mph -- or maybe a wee bit faster (but not fast enough to warrant the attention of state troopers) when I had to pull into the left lane to pass a slow-moving SUV, which was drifting precariously over the line that defines the lanes.
Being the defensive driver I am, I passed the SUV when it clearly was back into the right lane. Naturally, I gave the driver a look-see.
The driver, a young woman, was looking at her cell phone, a flip model which was opened to expose the keypad.
She was texting.
OK, I’m not one who believes there ought to be a law so every wrong in this world can be fixed. I think Prohibition is the No. 1 example of a law – in this case an amendment to the U.S. Constitution -- that offered numerous unintended consequences (and a nod to Ken Burns for underscoring that fact in his latest history lesson on PBS) before it was finally repealed.
But in the case of texting and driving? Well, there ought to be a law. And soon.
In June, the Ohio House passed a bill that bans texting while driving. A Senate committee is conducting hearings on the issue and I assume we’ll get the law at some point, but what the heck is taking so long?
Only lives on the highway – including the young woman’s in the SUV -- are at stake. Oh, yeah – and the lives of us who have to share the road with Miss Texter.
Funny how the Legislature took on the issue of collective bargaining and had that long-standing law rewritten and a new bill passed within three months of John Kasich taking office as governor.
Meanwhile, 34 states already have banned texting and driving.
Note to Ohio’s Legislature: Find one of those 34 laws on the Internet and then copy and paste it under Ohio’s letterhead. Vote on it. It’s so simple.
I hate to keep picking on the Legislature, but it is an easy mark. House Bill 136 would expand the previously urban-centric voucher program to students in all 613 public school districts. The voucher program, which provides money to students to attend private schools in urban areas, subtracts that same amount of money from the district to which the student belongs.
So, under the new proposal, a New Philadelphia kid who attends a private school would penalize New Philadelphia Public Schools in the amount of $5,783. That’s a lot of money to a district that size.
Needless to say, local school superintendents are against the idea.
State Rep. Al Landis, R-Dover, is a co-sponsor of the bill.
I know I’m being redundant, but the problem in public education in this state is not in the districts that are in Tuscarawas or Holmes counties. It’s in the big six urban districts – Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, Toledo, Dayton and Youngstown.
Kasich and Landis need to remember that as they attempt to answer the school funding question. Perhaps that includes breaking them into smaller districts.
In Cleveland’s case, for example, how does one go about effectively managing a district comprised of more than 50,000 students?
Facebook can be a humbling experience.
I posted the announcement detailing a candidate debate sponsored by the Dover Exchange Club and scheduled for last Tuesday night. I asked my Facebook friends – I have a few – what questions they would like to ask, figuring I’d get at least a few responses.
I got none.
Meanwhile, the woman who posted, “I got up this morning and ate a doughnut,” gets a dozen “likes” and a half-dozen comments.
I must be doing something wrong. Or voters really are apathetic.
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