State boards of education (SBOE) along with governors, legislatures, and state education agencies are integral components of the state education policy system. In Ohio, the SBOE oversees the education policy and offers guidance to pre-K -12 schools. The SBOE is the governing body of the Ohio Department of Education and establishes the learning standards of what students should know and be able to do. The board employs the Superintendent of Public Instruction, who runs the department (currently led by an interim superintendent). The Ohio SBOE is comprised of 19 board members: 11 elected and 8 appointed.
Decades after the Ohio Supreme Court ruled the school funding formula unconstitutional, it’s finally time to permanently fix the school funding system. I will work for fair school funding, ensure every child receives an excellent education, that we invest in preK-12 public schools, and demand accountability for all schools receiving public funds and vouchers. We must stop the detrimental siphoning of tax-payer dollars from public schools to private schools and demand accountability now.
With 240,000 educators serving in 3,500 schools and educating more than 1.7 million schoolchildren, education in Ohio is a complex business. In 2017 over 1300 Ohioans participated in developing a strategic plan for education to set overall goals and develop a plan to achieve them. The plan Each Child, Our Future ensures each student is challenged, prepared, and empowered for his or her future’s purpose. The whole child is at the center of the plan.
In Ohio and in other states, politics are encroaching on the classroom and interfering with students learning and teacher’s ability to teach. We should embrace the honest telling of history, provide programs that address students social and emotional health and look at the whole child and their needs to improve student outcomes. We should move beyond the misinformation and hate speech aimed at marginalized groups, embrace our obvious diversity, address the teacher shortage and work together to achieve the state-level vision embodied in the strategic plan.
We must focus on lifting student aspirations, creating hope and excitement, guiding the development of state-level education policies, and promoting high-quality educational practices across the state.