CDF-Ohio Testifies in Opposition to Senate Bill 1
February 21, 2023
On Tuesday, CDF-Ohio presented testimony to the Ohio Senate Education Committee in opposition to Senate Bill 1, a piece of legislation intended to reform the State Board of Education and its functions and educational responsibilities.
The Ohio Department of Education and State Board of Education have a history of soliciting community and stakeholder input for their priorities, standards, guidance, and policies. Notably, Ohio’s strategic plan for education, Each Child, Our Future, was developed by more than 150 Ohio-based partners in education with feedback from more than 1,200 Ohioans – including lawmakers, students, parents, educators, administrators, higher education experts, community members, and business representatives. Moreover, the State Board of Education’s monthly meetings are public and provide opportunities for public comment on both agenda and non-voting items discussed, offering a venue for Ohioans to elevate local needs and opportunities to address issues they are experiencing in their districts and communities.
Ohio’s students, their families, and communities deserve this type of intentional collaboration, transparency, and public oversight and accountability to be modeled moving forward with all decisions that impact them, our state’s education system, and its strategic priorities for student success.
However, if passed, SB 1 would strip local representation away from Ohio voters by shifting the lion’s share of educational functions and responsibilities from the elected and appointed members of the State Board of Education to the oversight of a Governor-appointed cabinet-level agency – which would essentially allow for decision-making behind closed doors.