Senate Bill 1, the Proposal to Neuter the State Board of Education That the Sovereign People of Ohio Put into the Constitution of Ohio in 1953 is Contrary to the Constitution.
“All political power is inherent in the people.” Ohioans instituted the State Board of Education in 1953 by a majority vote. Prior to that vote, the state agency for education was operated by the Governor’s office. SB1 would tread underfoot the will of the people by a legislative act. (The argument that SB1 would leave the Board intact—for some miniscule functions—and thus not violate the Constitution is nonsense.)
In addition to the Bill violating the Constitution, the arguments in support of transfer of the state education agency are inane. Some supporters of the Bill suggest the State Board of Education is completely dysfunctional. Some citizens would suggest that the U.S. Congress and the Ohio Legislature are completely dysfunctional. So should the powers and duties of those bodies be transferred elsewhere? One proponent said East Cleveland School District (which has been under state control) has low test scores; therefore, the state education duties should be transferred to the Governor. Wow! —such noble arguments.
The last time the legislature messed with the State Board of Education, it created a nightmare by instituting a hybrid process of selecting board members, which really created chaos. The best approach for the legislature is to return to the original intent of the 1953 amendment by having all board members elected.
Learn more about the EdChoice voucher litigation