George Voinovich was a great champion for early learning and development. As a two-term Governor of Ohio, he made a commitment to expand Head Start to reach as many eligible young children as possible. During his two terms as Governor, from 1991 to 1998, Ohio Head Start funding increased tenfold from $18 million in 1990 to $180 million in 1998. By the end of Governor Voinovich’s second term, 90% of eligible Ohio children were enrolled in Head Start, at a time when the national average was 40%. His support for early childhood programs continued in the United States Senate, where he served the State of Ohio from 1999 to 2011. Senator Voinovich helped introduce loan forgiveness legislation for Head Start teachers and coauthored the 2002 Early Care and Education Act.
With his passing this weekend at age 79, our thoughts and prayers are with the Voinovich family in their time of loss. May he rest in peace.