COLUMBUS – State Representatives Adam Bird (R-New Richmond) and Joe Miller (D-Amherst) this week introduced legislation that would change the way the Ohio State Board of Education is composed.
House Bill 298 reduces the number of voting members on the Board of Education from 19 to 11, which was the previous size of the Board prior to 1995. Currently, 11 members of the Board are elected and eight are appointed by the Governor. Bird and Miller’s bill would eliminate those appointed positions by not allowing the Governor to make new appointments after their current terms expire.
“The State Board of Education is an important body and the members of its Board should be accountable to the voters,” said Bird. “Right now, 42% of the members of the State Board of Education are not elected and therefore not accountable to anyone. To have almost half the board unelected and unaccountable does not reflect the transparency and responsiveness that Ohioans need and deserve.”
“Changing the State Board of Education make-up to a totally elected body will return the original intent and give taxpayers a voice on issues and policies that will affect their children’s education. This places the responsibility of the electorate to be more intentional in who we elect to the State Board of Education members. We need pro public education representation on the board that represents public education. This bill will allow for more of a separation of power and return to a more transparent and accountable State Board,” said Miller.
House Bill 298 has been referred to the House Government Oversight Committee and now awaits its first hearing.