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Ohio Senate Bill 1: Potential Overhaul of the State Board of Education

Published: Apr 03, 2023 by Monica Fuster

Ohio Senate Bill 1, as passed by the Ohio Senate 26-7 on March 1, 2023, shifts oversight of Ohio’s public education system from the State Board of Education to the governor’s office.

In summary, Senate Bill 1 renames the Department of Education to the Department of Education and Workforce (“DEW”) and creates a new cabinet level position to head the DEW, the Director of Education and Workforce. The Director of Education and Workforce is appointed by the governor, with advice and consent of the Senate. The DEW would be subject to the Administrative Procedure Act.

Senate Bill 1 transfers most powers and duties of the State Board of Education and the Superintendent of Public Instruction to the DEW. Examples of powers and duties transferred include (but are not limited to):

  1. Adoption of minimum education standards for elementary and secondary schools
  2. Issuance and revocation of state charters
  3. Development of state academic standards and model curricula
  4. Administration of state scholarship programs
  5. Establishment of state report card system
  6. Establishment of statewide program for standardize assessments
  7. Calculation and distribution of all foundation funding payments

Essentially, the State Board of Education and the Superintendent only retain powers and duties related to educator licensure, licensee disciplinary actions, and school district territory transfer.

Proponents of the Bill cite low state testing scores and high rates of absenteeism, as well as a slow and dysfunctional bureaucratic system, for the need for this new legal system to manage and oversee public education in Ohio.

Opponents of the Bill argue that removing powers and duties from the State Board of Education infringes upon local control that many parents want from their school districts. Under current law, Ohio has eleven elected board members, each representing one of the eleven state districts, and each charged with addressing the unique priorities and particular needs of their district. The State Board meets monthly allowing the public to testify and comment on statewide policies.

Senate Bill 1 is currently working its way through the Ohio House. If the House passes the Bill, Governor Mike DeWine will likely sign it, as he has previously expressed support of placing education under his office as a cabinet-level position.

If you have any questions about the Ohio Department of Education, State Board of Education, or any other Ohio agency, you should consider contacting an attorney at Graff & McGovern. Monica Fuster of Graff & McGovern can be reached at 614-228-5800, extension 5, or