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Feb 28, 2023

Council members Richard A. Starr and Kevin Conwell initially sponsored a resolution, later co-sponsored unanimously, opposing Senate Bill 1 currently being debated in Columbus. The resolution passed yesterday.

SB 1 transfers most of the powers and duties of the State Board of Education to the governor. The State Board of Education is a 19-member, non-partisan body with 11 elected members and eight members appointed by the governor.

Council members Starr and Conwell are testifying at the Ohio Senate Education Committee at 3 pm today (2/28). It can be watched here:

SB1 would do away with the Ohio Department of Education and rename it to the Ohio Department of Education and Workforce. While the makeup and size of the board won't change, it will strip it of the controls over standards, curriculum and education policy, which will all move to the governor's office. The Republican dominated statehouse broached this change after the November elections that saw two conservative members appointed by DeWine lose their seats.  

Council's resolution noted that the move could politicize education policy, and is also a power-grab by the legislature in other to maintain conservative control over Board policies.

While supporters say it would help Ohio schools, other opponents note the bill has very few specifics on how it would correct issues and also strips Ohio parents of having advocates on the board they vote for and who they can turn to when they have issues about what's being taught in their school districts. This will strip parents of a direct line of access. Res. No. 205-2023.