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Local School Board Members Say Ohio's Proposed Education Consolidation Removes Accountability

A photo of the Ohio Statehouse from Rhodes Tower.
The Ohio Statehouse

House Republicans are defending the proposal that would merge several departments into one large education agency which would report directly to the governor. But elected local school boards are sounding off on how it would change the state board of education.

As a Canton City School board member, Eric Resnick says he’s seen first-hand the important role elected leaders play in a child’s education, from creating effective policies to answering parents’ questions.

He says the idea of scaling back the state school board’s responsibilities will take that outlet away from the public.

“The public can’t hold its elected officials like me, like the state board of education -- most of whom are elected -- can’t approach us, can’t hold us accountable," Resnick said. "Then the whole system falls apart.”

House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger reacted to the vocal opposition by saying there are plenty of groups who support the measure. He added that the bill does not do away with the state school board. However, it does dramatically scale back its authority.