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State BOE Formally Opposes Kasich's Consolidation Plan

Mar 14, 2018

The Ohio Board of Education has approved a resolution opposing a bill in the Ohio House placing most of the board’s responsibilities under control of the governor’s office.  

The bill would consolidate the Ohio Departments of Education and Higher Education with Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation. It would also give most of the board’s powers to the governor’s office. Before the vote, House Education Committee Chair Andrew Brenner warned members it may be premature.

Boards member say it’s their responsibility to publicly state their opposition. The Ohio Education Association and the Ohio Federation of Teachers also oppose the bill. OEA's Scott DiMauro says there are dozens of other agencies that interact with the education system.

OFT says the bill was written without input from teachers. The board's vote comes amid questions about the relationship between the state schools superintendent and the governor. Ohio Public Radio's Karen Kasler explains.  

When he was picked as state school superintendent in 2016, longtime education and government official Paolo DeMaria was the unanimous choice of the state school board. But the board’s meeting this week got a bit tense when member Stephanie Dodd, who’s a Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor, asked DeMaria about sharing input with Kasich.

“So when is the last time that you spoke with the governor?”

“We’re in contact with the Governor’s office.”

“No, no, not the Governor’s office. The Governor. Have you ever spoken with the Governor?”

“Madam President, if we could, I’d like to proceed to the next question.”

DeMaria has asked to be appointed to Kasich’s Executive Workforce Board, but did say he hasn’t received a response. Kasich’s office says the two have a good working relationship.