The bill to overhaul the state’s education system and hand more control over to the governor’s office is getting its first committee hearing. Opponents say this measure strips away local control and one senator sees similarities to another controversial bill from a few years ago.
In June 2015, lawmakers added last minute changes to a bill which led to the Youngstown City School district takeover.
Democratic Senator Joe Schiavoni of the Youngstown area, who’s running for governor, says that bill was created with little public input and took away control from local elected school board members.
Schiavoni is drawing comparisons between that bill and the new House proposal that would consolidate several departments into one giant organization.
“Rather than going in and trying to figure out how we can give these kids good opportunities, you just take it over and say well school board you must not know what you’re doing and therefore we do in Columbus and we’re going to make those decisions for you,” said Schiavoni.
The bill creates a department director that would answer directly to the governor.
Supporters say this will streamline education polices that connect with career-readiness, and make the governor more accountable in education issues.