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State Rep. Tavia Galonski today voiced her concerns for future high school graduates after an amendment to Senate Bill (SB) 216 that included language from her House Bill (HB) 630 to extend the current high school graduation requirements for two more years was tabled during Wednesday’s House session.

Galonski introduced HB 630 in May, and the bill did not receive a public hearing before the legislative summer break.

“As we continue to research the most reasonable requirements for students to graduate high school, we need to offer future graduating seniors the same alternative pathways so that they are not subjected to narrow requirements that still need improved upon,” said Galonski. “This is not giving an easy pass to the classes of 2019 and 2020, but rather a means to ensure that the expectations are streamlined between them and prior graduating classes while final decision making is still in progress.”

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Fri, Jun 29, 2018

State Reps. Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron) and Tavia Galonski (D-Akron) today reacted to the closing of Akron Digital Academy after the State of Ohio required the online school to repay $2.8 million of mismanaged funds after failing to properly keep track of enrollment.

“Hearing about the closure of Akron Digital Academy reaffirms my concern about online schools, and more importantly the education our youth is receiving,” said Sykes. “How many children are we going to let fall by the way side because of poor administration? The students are being affected the most.”

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Fri, Jun 29, 2018

State Rep. Tavia Galonski (D-Akron) today responded to Babcock & Wilcox Enterprises Inc. announcing the layoff of 51 workers in Barberton and Copley on Thursday.

B&W primarily makes and services coal-fired boilers and pollution control equipment for power plants.  With more power plants fueled by natural gas over coal, B&W has struggled to overcome the competition. The job cuts were a result of efforts to align costs with revenue.

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Fri, Jun 29, 2018

State Rep. Tavia Galonski (D-Akron) issued the following statement in response to the news that Secretary of State Husted is directing counties not to purge voters before the August and November 2018 elections:

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Thu, Jun 14, 2018

State Rep. Tavia Galonski (D-Akron) today applauded the passage of Senate Bill (SB) 135, which would invest more than $100 million in state funds for Ohio counties to purchase new, modern voting equipment. SB 135 also appropriates $10 million to reimburse counties who purchased new voting systems on or after January 1, 2014. Voting systems, including voting machines, marking devices, automatic tabulating equipment, direct recording electronic voting machines and associated allowable expenditures, would be covered under the bill.

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Thu, Jun 7, 2018

State Rep. Tavia Galonski (D-Akron) today responded to the House session vote for a new Speaker after seven weeks of a legislative deadlock.

 

“Today’s session was embarrassing for this General Assembly and is a disgrace towards our constituents,” Galonski said. “This entire process has been a long, drawn out fight within the Republican majority who still could not put up a candidate that could garner a majority vote. Speaker Smith won on a plurality, not a majority. The fact of the matter is the majority of the House does not believe Smith should lead. Democrats and Republicans alike are apprehensive and demonstrated so with their votes today."

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Wed, Jun 6, 2018

State Rep. Tavia Galonski (D-Akron) today decried House Republican leadership’s decision to schedule committee hearings for four Republican-sponsored gun expansion bills while stalling hearings on previously introduced Democratic gun safety legislation.

“We have legislation that offers a more holistic approach to commonsense gun safety,” said Galonski. “But instead of keeping guns out the hands of criminals or people with mental illness, Ohio Republicans want to put more guns in more public places and give people more legal protection to use deadly force.”

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Tue, May 22, 2018

State Reps. Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo) and Tavia Galonski (D-Akron) today sent a letter asking Attorney General Mike DeWine to appoint special state prosecutor to  determine the extent of criminal activities of the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT) publicized by Auditor Dave Yost in a stalled audit released today. The lawmakers are also asking that a special prosecutor determine whether state negligence contributed to additional taxpayer fraud, and whether or not state officials are liable for any additional fraud that developed as a result of their negligence or malfeasance.

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Thu, May 10, 2018

State Rep. Tavia Galonski (D-Akron) today announced the introduction of House Bill (HB) 630, her plan to extend current Ohio high school alternative graduation requirements for two more years. The bill comes as parents and students face uncertainty as permanent fixes to Ohio high school graduation requirements continue to be debated at the Statehouse.

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Wed, May 9, 2018

State Rep. Tavia Galonski (D-Akron) today called on Ohio Auditor Dave Yost to recuse himself from all matters related to the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT) due to conflicts of interest and to refer potential data-rigging at ECOT for review by an independent criminal prosecutor.

“According to statements made by your office this week, you received a whistleblower tip in May 2017 detailing first-hand knowledge of potential criminal fraud at the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT). According to these same statements, your office did not immediately refer these allegations to a prosecutor or outside law enforcement agency,” Rep. Galonski wrote in a letter to Yost. “Your decisions may have jeopardized Ohio’s ability to get justice. Fraud investigations demand quick action to collect evidence.”

The letter came after news broke last week that Yost’s office met multiple times last year with a former ECOT technology employee who blew the whistle with allegations the e-charter intentionally manipulated student attendance data, yet Yost failed to refer the matter for criminal investigation at that time.

Since then, the letter notes, ECOT has closed, witnesses have moved to new jobs, emails, texts and documents have presumably been lost, and money has likely been shuffled to new accounts. 

“Simply put, valuable evidence has most likely been lost while you have conducted an ‘investigation’ that you should not have been directing to begin with,” Rep. Galonski wrote.

A copy of the full letter is attached and pasted below.

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Wed, May 2, 2018