Ohio Senate bill giving executive branch control of K-12 program is government excess – BG Independent News

Sometimes our elected officials use the time before major holidays, when our attention is devoted to family and religious matters, to introduce and pass legislation that flies under the radar of the average citizen. One such bill was heard last week in Columbus along with Senate Bill 178. You should be concerned and act quickly if you care about our children’s education in Ohio. Our lawmakers have assured that this bill is on the “fast track” and will be passed before citizens realize it.

This bill seeks to authorize the governor’s office to take over the oversight of K-12 standards and textbooks and assign it to the governor’s executive complement. Our elected state board of education would be left with superficial duties, such as licensing superintendents and teachers. The state council under this “restructure” would be stripped of most of its educational responsibilities, which would be placed under a new position in the cabinet under the supervision of the governor.

Public education has been in disarray for more than two decades; The affair of DeRolph v. State, as repeatedly decided and revisited by our Ohio Supreme Court, has determined that funding for public schools in Ohio is fundamentally unconstitutional and must be totally reviewed by our Legislature. Since our legislature refused to do so, despite multiple court rulings, far less money has come to our school districts, schools are still funded primarily by property taxes, and school boards have had to do the job. impossible to run schools without sufficient funds.

This misguided bill may be a reaction to the fact that Ohio’s culture is changing rapidly, with issues like transgender children wanting to play sports and people of color wanting their history honestly portrayed in textbooks. It may be because of a recently defeated board member who led a controversial movement to overturn an anti-racism resolution. This may be because most of our legislators yearn for a return to 1950s glory. Whatever the reason, you don’t want your children’s textbooks chosen by an unelected bureaucrat, nameless and faceless, in Columbus.

In 2021, the Texas Senate passed a bill removing Martin Luther King, Jr., suffrage, and Native American history from the required curriculum. The Governor of Virginia is working on textbooks where there is no reference to the legacy of slavery and how it affects our country. Rest assured that Ohio is not far behind if this legislation is passed. It is historical sacrilege when overzealous government leaders believe that if the Holocaust, suffrage, slavery or Stonewall are wiped from the books, well, they didn’t happen.

Senate Bill 178 is clearly government overreach and is being run through the system without proper citizen scrutiny and analysis. Please contact your State Senator and State Representative and demand that they do not support this legislation. Most readers are represented by State Senator Theresa Gavarone or State Representative Haraz Ghanbari. If you are unsure of your representatives, go to www.legislature.ohio.gov/legislators/find-my-legislator and enter your postal code.

Thanks for taking the time to read this issue. Hurry up; please contact your representative today. Our children deserve better.

Karen Wood

Bowling green

Norman D. Briggs