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Rep. Robinson criticizes Gov. DeWine for lack of a statewide, back-to-school plan

While acknowledging challenges for parents, teachers and administrators, DeWine does little to help alleviate stress of the situation for local districts
August 11, 2020
Democratic Newsroom

COLUMBUS— State Rep. Phil Robinson (D-Solon), the Ranking Democrat on the House Primary and Secondary Education Committee, today released a statement criticizing Governor Mike DeWine on the lack of a statewide plan to address school re-opening and the continued confusion his lack of leadership creates.

“As a father, I tuned in today hoping for guidance and answers from the Governor but he let me, and other Ohio parents, down. Instead what we saw was an abdication of the State’s duty.

Instead of rolling out a statewide, back-to-school plan, the Governor continues to shift the difficult decisions to the school districts who then shift the decisions to the parents to somehow choose between their child’s health, their own health and their employment.

What is actually happening as a result of no statewide intervention is we are deepening the economic divides in our society, perpetuating a system of haves and have nots. Those who have the means to do remote learning and keep their children healthy, can. Those working parents who rely on in-person instruction so they can hold down a job, cannot.

As news breaks that the Big 10 has made the difficult decision to cancel all fall sports, including football, the Governor refuses to make similar difficult decisions himself and instead leaves it to parents and local school administrators to just ‘figure it out.’ It is disappointing to see Governor DeWine refuse to lead when Ohio needs it the most.

But it is not just Governor DeWine who needs to give more guidance, Speaker Cupp and Senate President Obhof need to reconvene the state legislature to pass more COVID-19 school relief. Teachers and schools are in desperate need of more support and flexibility during the pandemic, regardless of whether they are holding in-person, virtual or hybrid classes for students.”

Rep. Robinson and House Democrats continue to promote legislation to extend education provisions of House Bill (HB) 197, the COVID-19 emergency omnibus bill, that mostly covered only the last school year. Some of these bill include:

·   HB 612: Delay 5-year projection requirement of school district revenues and expenditures so schools have more fiscal planning flexibility during the pandemic;

·   HB 626, HB 627, HB 636: Addresses various issues of busing students and transportation during COVID-19;

·   HB 686: Waiving state testing and creating exemption from report cards rating and penalties for the ’20-’21 school year.