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Leadership Changes at Ohio Education Department Cause Concern

a photo of Ohio Education Superintendent Paolo DeMaria
Ohio Department of Education
Paolo DeMaria will retire from his position as state superintendent of public instruction in September.

The second person in charge at the Ohio Department of Education is stepping down in early October. That comes on the heels of the resignation of Superintendent Paolo DeMaria, who will retire at the end of September.

Ohio Federation of Teachers President Melissa Cropper says it’s a big deal that Deputy Superintendent John Richard is leaving two weeks after DeMaria’s departure.

“Being superintendent of public education in Ohio is a very important position and it’s not one that should be controlled by political ideology. It is a position where a person needs to be in touch with people who are doing this work on a day-to-day basis," Cropper said. "So yes, we are always concerned when this position opens up that it will be replaced with a political person who is following the will of the legislature or a governor, no matter what the political party of that governor is, we need a person who is going to be responsive to the field," Cropper says.

The State Board of Education is responsible for picking a replacement for DeMaria. Eleven of the members are elected by voters and 8 are chosen by the governor. For years, governors and lawmakers have wanted more control over that board.

Copyright 2021 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.