Columbus - 
All across Ohio, students and teachers have headed back to the classroom for the start of another school year, including our three children. I myself recently dropped my daughter off for her first year at The Ohio State University. It was a bittersweet moment for my wife and I - our oldest "leaving the nest" as it were - and leaving us to hope that we had prepared her well for this new chapter in her life.

I think that all parents, whether their children are starting kindergarten, their freshman year of high school or are headed off to college, wonder if we have done enough to prepare them for the journey that lies ahead. The education of our children is an investment in their future, providing them with the confidence and abilities they will need to succeed in the workforce and beyond.

The education of our children is also a priority for state and local officials. Ensuring that all students have access to a quality learning environment at all levels not only prepares them for the future, but also improves the overall viability of our state, as businesses and employers seek to locate in areas that have a ready-made, high-performing workforce.

As such, lawmakers have made significant strides in recent years to improve Ohio's education system. We have worked to strengthen Ohio's high school curriculum - particularly in subjects such as science, math, engineering and technology - in order to ensure students are not only ready for the rigors of college but ready to compete in the job market. We've also implemented policies that allow parents to make more decision to assure their child's educational needs are met and that sought to keep the cost of higher education affordable for all Ohioans.

In addition to bolstering Ohio's education requirements, efforts have also been made to better ensure that students have access to high-quality teachers. Research has shown that a teacher's influence on student achievement is 20 times greater than any other variable, and the impact of high-quality teachers cannot be overstated. I want to commend all of our teachers and administrators as they focus on ensuring this year's crop of students get the best educations they can, and wish every school district in the 17th District a very safe and productive school year.

As always, I welcome your thoughts and questions about any of the matters we are discussing at the Statehouse. You can reach my office by phone at (614) 466-8156, by e-mail at or by writing State Senator Bob Peterson, Ohio Statehouse, 1 Capitol Square, Columbus, OH 43215. I look forward to hearing from you.
Senator Peterson represents the 17th Ohio Senate District, which encompasses Clinton, Fayette, Gallia, Highland, Jackson, Pike, Ross and Vinton counties and portions of Lawrence and Pickaway counties. For more information, please visit
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