Public education is under attack in Ohio

Here we are in July 2021, and I have now been through six State Board of Education meetings. As I learn the inner workings of the state board, I also learn a great deal about the outside pressures that influence the work we do as board members. That reality has opened my eyes very quickly – public education is under attack in the state of Ohio.

As described in previous articles, the reach of the State Board is not far. Ohio is a district control state. This means that while the State Board makes resolutions and reviews rules, it is under the purview of each district to enact those rules and resolutions as they see fit. While that likely seems pretty straightforward, there is a vast political underbelly surrounding education in this state.

Michelle Newman, Newark, is a member of Ohio's State Board of Education.

There are several items afoot in the Ohio Statehouse right now that evidence a concerted effort to deconstruct the fundamentals of public education, all while enacting harmful legislation that undermines the abilities of administrators and teachers to manage their individual districts and classrooms. Most importantly, this trend disregards the cognitive and empathetic abilities of our students to learn and discern facts and societal information, and frankly it gives our students very little credit.

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