Rep. Smith speaking during news conference announcing Democratic lawmaker's 2016 economic agenda to focus on the future
Rep. Smith speaking during news conference announcing Democratic lawmaker's 2016 economic agenda to focus on the future
 Rep. Smith presenting a House Resolution to the Beachwood Girls' Track and Field Team
Rep. Smith presenting a House Resolution to the Beachwood Girls' Track and Field Team
 Rep. Smith introducing OhioSounds legislation to grow Ohio's music industry
Rep. Smith introducing OhioSounds legislation to grow Ohio's music industry
Rep. Smith speaking during House session
Rep. Smith speaking during House session
 Rep. Smith speaking with constituent at women's access to healthcare news conference
Rep. Smith speaking with constituent at women's access to healthcare news conference
 Rep. Smith after taking oath of office
Rep. Smith after taking oath of office
Rep. Smith with Democratic colleagues and NARAL at pro-choice press conference
Rep. Smith with Democratic colleagues and NARAL at pro-choice press conference
 Rep. Smith presenting resolution to Beechwood girls 4x200 indoor track team for their state championship
Rep. Smith presenting resolution to Beechwood girls 4x200 indoor track team for their state championship
 Rep. Smith with Rep. Boyd announcing a proposal to establish an equal pay hotline as a new resource to fight pay discrimination in Ohio
Rep. Smith with Rep. Boyd announcing a proposal to establish an equal pay hotline as a new resource to fight pay discrimination in Ohio
Rep. Smith with Rep. Boggs during a news conference to announce a plan to stabilize 31 fiscally distressed communities across Ohio
Rep. Smith with Rep. Boggs during a news conference to announce a plan to stabilize 31 fiscally distressed communities across Ohio
 Rep. Smith speaking at a press conference with Rep. Kelly, the Center for American Progress and Policy Matters Ohio to discuss new employee overtime wage protection legislation for all Ohioans
Rep. Smith speaking at a press conference with Rep. Kelly, the Center for American Progress and Policy Matters Ohio to discuss new employee overtime wage protection legislation for all Ohioans
 Rep. Smith after presenting a House Resolution to the Beachwood Girls' Track and Field Team
Rep. Smith after presenting a House Resolution to the Beachwood Girls' Track and Field Team
Rep. Smith speaking on the House floor during session
Rep. Smith speaking on the House floor during session
 Rep. Smith with Euclid's Mayor, Kirsten Holzheimer, at an event with the Ohio Mayors Alliance
Rep. Smith with Euclid's Mayor, Kirsten Holzheimer, at an event with the Ohio Mayors Alliance
 Rep. Smith speaking on the House floor
Rep. Smith speaking on the House floor
Rep. Smith takes oath for 131st General Assembly
Rep. Smith takes oath for 131st General Assembly
 
 

State Rep. Kent Smith was first elected to serve the people of the 8th Ohio House District in 2014 and was re-elected in 2016.  He joined the Ohio House of Representatives after serving Euclid, Ohio as a Member of the Euclid Board of Education from 2002 – 2013.  In his 12 years on the Euclid School Board, Kent never missed a meeting.  As a Euclid School Board Member, he was a four-time winner of the “Award of Achievement” which is awarded annually by the Ohio School Boards Association to less than three percent of all School Board Members in Ohio. 

 
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09.13.18 - State's Broken, Politically-driven Education Model Paved The Way For East Cleveland State Takeover

 

State Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) today responded to the release of Ohio’s School Report Cards, which gave East Cleveland City Schools its third consecutive “F,” setting the stage for a state takeover under the legislature’s hastily-passed, party-line amendment to House Bill 70 in 2016.

“Today's release of the state report card is further evidence that the biggest hindrance to student performance in Ohio's public schools is not the district leadership of East Cleveland but the politicians of Columbus who take campaign contributions from the charter school industry with one hand as they give public school dollars to charter school operators with the other hand,” said Smith, a member of the House Education Committee.

East Cleveland Schools have lost over $5 million to failing, for-profit charter schools like ECOT while the state has cut the schools by millions of dollars in previous state budgets.

The district is also considered to be the poorest community in the state and the fourth poorest in the nation, with 100 percent of students being considered economically disadvantaged according to ODE data. 

“In spite of these substantial challenges East Cleveland City Schools have made tremendous progress, due in part to the extremely talented core of teachers, most of whom have a master’s degree and average 15 years of classroom experience,” said Smith.

 
 

07.20.18 - Ohio Lawmaker Ekes By Living On State Minimum Wage, Urges Increase

 

The first half of this week (July 16-18), State Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) participated in the #LiveTheWage or #$17ADay Challenge. In September 2015, 18 members of the Florida Legislature attempted to live five days on $17 a day.  In Ohio, workers earning minimum wage have $17 a day on which to live after paying rent and taxes if their rent is $674. Rep. Smith is the sponsor of House Bill 86 with Rep. Hearcel Craig (D-Columbus), which would raise the state's current minimum wage from $8.30 per hour to $10.10 per hour.

 
 

07.18.18 - Smith: Three Years After Chartergate, Little Interest In Regulating Charter Schools At GOP-controlled Ohio Statehouse

 

Three years after it was exposed that Gov. John Kasich’s handpicked charter-czar David Hansen, husband of Kasich’s chief of staff, was illegally changing charter school grades to allow failing charter schools to draw down on more taxpayer funding, little has happened at the Republican-controlled Statehouse to crack down, once and for all, on Ohio’s largely unregulated charter school industry.

“Three years after Governor Kasich’s handpicked charter school head was caught defrauding taxpayers, an historic amount of tax dollars continue to flow to Ohio charter schools,” said Rep. Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo), the lead Democrat on the House Education Committee. “Instead of wholesale changes to hold Ohio charters accountable to the same standards and rules as traditional schools, the legislature has, in effect, loosened standards.”

Just recently, it came to light that the now-defunct ECOT, the largest online charter that bankrolled numerous GOP campaigns, was using tax dollars to pay off students for attending graduation ceremonies and taking required statewide tests.

“As this scandal unfolds and more problems come to light, the political will at the Statehouse to make substantive reforms is overshadowed by the failure to act during the last three years,” said Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid), a member of the House Education Committee. “Operating in a system where charter school operators bankroll the campaigns of elected officials tasked with holding them accountable has stalled any meaningful reform and opened to door to more corruption.”

Recently, Ohio Supreme Court Justice Pat DeWine recused himself from the ECOT Supreme Court case a year after hearing oral arguments. DeWine took campaign cash from ECOT, like his father, Attorney General Mike DeWine.

The senior DeWine shied away from cracking down on ECOT after some $80 million in tax dollars was found to be fraudently received by overinflating student attendance records. After saying there was nothing his office could do, AG DeWine recently decided to pursue collections of the ill-gotten money after numerous news reports and mounting public pressure.

Over a year ago, an ECOT whistleblower contacted Auditor Dave Yost about fraud and corruption at the school, a call Yost ignored until acknowledging the apparent fraud at ECOT recently. At the time, Fedor called on Yost to thoroughly investigate ECOT and Hansen’s illegal data scrubbing at ODE, something Yost failed to do. Yost also took substantial campaign donations from ECOT’s founder.

 

 
 

06.27.18 - Rep. Kent Smith Responds To Anti-worker Janus V. AFSCME SCOTUS Decision

 

State Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) today issued the following statement in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Janus v. AFSCME to strike down public sector union fair share, essentially bringing so-called “right to work” to public sector workplaces across America:

 
 
 

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Representative Kent Smith
District 8
77 S. High St
10th Floor
Columbus, OH 43215
Phone (614) 466-5441
Fax      (614) 719-0008
Email Representative Smith, K
 
Hometown : Euclid
Party : Democrat
Current Term : Eligible to run for another term