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CPS Board of Education encourages state lawmakers to oppose Senate Bill 1

Ambriehl Crutchfield

The Cincinnati Public Schools Board of Education passed a resolution Monday night opposing Ohio Senate Bill 1.

The bill would rename the Ohio Department of Education to the Ohio Department of Education and Workforce. It would also move control of the department from the State Board of Education to the governor's office and create a new cabinet-level position overseeing education policy.

Senate Bill 1 was considered by lawmakers last year but was not passed. Now, the bill has been reintroduced and is being championed by some as a solution to the state board's perceived ineffectiveness while being criticized by others including members of the state board as a ruse to take over public education.

The resolution passed by CPS states the board sees the bill as potentially harmful to students and families because of the way it strips power away from locally elected representatives and dramatically shifts control of the education system without thorough research or discussion. Members of the board say moving the department to the governor's office would give control of the education system to one political party.

Board member Carolyn Jones read from the resolution saying, "The Cincinnati Public School District Board of Education believes that public education should be overseen by a non-partisan and non-political department of education. Whereas, the board believes that the public education system should be accountable to citizens and communities it serves."

The board is urging lawmakers to vote against the bill and consider other ways to make improvements to the Ohio Department of Education.

The resolution was passed by the CPS board by a unanimous vote.

The Ohio Senate Education Committee will have its 5th hearing on Senate Bill 1 on Tuesday.

Zack Carreon is Education reporter for WVXU, covering local school districts and higher education in the Tri-State area.