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Education, jobs likely topics in Ohio gov's speech

By By JULIE CARR SMYTH

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio Gov. John Kasich (KAY'-sik) is preparing to deliver a State of the State speech that is expected to emphasize recent gains in private-sector jobs and lay out the Republican's latest ideas for benefiting the state's economy.

Education is likely to be a key theme in Monday's speech at the Performing Arts Center in Medina (meh-DY'-nuh).

The first-term governor has said he believes students need access to vocational options perhaps as early as 7th grade. He's also hinted public schools should be partially "deregulated" to give educators more flexibility to prevent students from lagging.

Kasich has said he'll work to further reduce Ohio's income tax rate, a goal set out in his 2010 campaign.

His Democratic 2014 rival says Kasich's policies have not benefited Ohio's schools or the overall economy.

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