As the Ohio House today cancelled sessions for this week amid an FBI raid on the home of former GOP Speaker Cliff Rosenberger (R-Clarksville) and the failure to elect a new speaker, House Education and Career Readiness Committee Chairman Andrew Brenner (R-Powell) violated House rules and ended committee when it became apparent Democratic amendments to Senate Bill 216 could pass.

“Rep. Fedor and I believe that local leaders, not Columbus bureaucrats, know what is best for their local communities and neighborhood schools,” said state Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid), a member of the committee. “That is why we introduced Amendment #1923 today in Education Committee as an amendment to SB 216.”

Smith and Fedor offered an amendment to the Senate Bill to freeze additional state takeovers of local school districts. The state has already taken control of Youngstown City Schools and Lorain City Schools.

“HB 70, from the 131st General Assembly, is not only bad education policy, it is bad for democracy and frankly, it is devastating to our children and communities,” said Rep. Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo), who serves as the ranking in the committee. “That’s why we’re working to prevent this takeover from affecting additional school districts. This is a crisis for our public education system and we cannot let it become worse.”

Chairman Brenner was opposed to the amendment and called for the amendment to be tabled, or set aside, but lost the vote to table 9 to 6 with four GOP representatives joining all five Democrats on the committee to stop state public school takeovers.

Brenner called for a caucus and attempted to rustle up additional GOP votes, but after thirty minutes of unsuccessful efforts he abruptly ended the House Education Committee without allowing a vote on the amendment.

“The irony of today’s actions by Republican Chair Brenner was that the only way he could stop the future loss of representative democracy for countless Ohio communities was to stop representative democracy today in Ohio House Committee Room,” added Smith. “Clearly the chaos, dysfunction and gridlock of partisan politics in the House has spilled over to every facet of work at the Statehouse.”

House Republicans cancelled session today for the fourth time.


Featured Posts

Rep. Kent Smith Statement As U.S. Supreme Court Rules Workers Cannot Be Fired For LGBTQ Status


State Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) issued a statement following Monday’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling which held LGBTQ workers are protected from workplace discrimination under federal law.


The Five Fronts Of The COVID-19 Battle In Ohio


As a Member of the Ohio General Assembly, I know that Ohioans are facing a variety of challenges from this ever-changing public health crisis.  But using the simple lessons of the “how to eat an elephant” story (one bite at a time), let me offer the five different areas of public policy challenges and what my colleagues and I will be working on in the early stages of this struggle.


Why We Are Doing What We Are Doing And What You Should Do. - A COVID-19 Update From State Representative Kent Smith


The new Coronavirus has spread rapidly across the globe.  In less than two months, it has reached over 135 countries and infected more than 160,000 individuals.  Diseases do not stop at state or international borders.  It has come to Ohio and it is a public health emergency.  We dare not underestimate it.


Rep. Kent Smith Urges House Bill 9 Conference Committee To Restore Local Control To East Cleveland, Youngstown Schools


State Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) today sent a letter to the members of the House Bill (HB) 9 Conference Committee urging them to include in the bill language to remove East Cleveland and Youngstown schools from state control. The Senate-passed version of the bill had included a provision to restore local control only to Lorain schools.