Statewide coalition opposes the fast-tracked
passage of SB178 as reckless and irresponsible policymaking
“You’re taking the people’s voice away” – State Senator Cecil Thomas
DECEMBER 7, 2022 | FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
COLUMBUS – Honesty for Ohio Education urges the Ohio House of Representatives to reject Senate Bill 178 following a 22-7 Senate vote advancing the bill to the House for consideration. In response to the vote, Cynthia Peeples, founding director of Honesty for Ohio Education, a nonpartisan statewide coalition representing nearly 50 organizational partners, released the following statement:
As a coalition representing thousands of education stakeholders across Ohio, we reject today’s passage of Senate Bill 178 in a process that intentionally excluded educators, communities, and families. While the placeholder bill was introduced back in May 2021, the public did not have access to the 2,100 page proposal until days before this week’s hearings.
Ohioans have been clear: while there are critical issues in public education needing urgent attention, fast-tracking a massive overhaul of our system, with little to no stakeholder input, is reckless and irresponsible. Countless Ohioans have spoken out against this state takeover, yet our voices are ignored.
Proponents of the bill, including Senate leadership, are quick to point out process and program deficiencies in public education, yet fail to acknowledge the root cause of many of the issues: decades of unconstitutional school funding and subpar salaries and working conditions for educators. State leaders have yet to address the systemic and institutional issues that cause inequitable access to healthcare, housing insecurities, and limited access to healthy food, all issues that directly impact the ability of our students to learn and succeed.
Instead of collaborating with policymakers, the Department of Education, educators, administrators, and communities to build a sustainable solution that would address these very complicated issues, lawmakers are prioritizing a solution that creates more problems than it solves.
Senate Bill 178, and any bill that fundamentally reshapes how education is administered, should be thoroughly researched, discussed, and debated with all stakeholders.
We urge members of the Ohio House of Representatives to stop SB178, and reject its language as an amendment to any other legislation. We urge all lawmakers and all stakeholders to engage in an active, deliberative collaboration to address the education issues facing our state.
Find more information on SB 178 here.
Honesty for Ohio Education is a nonpartisan, statewide coalition that champions honest education, affirmation of identities, cultures, and experiences, the well-being of students and educators, and local control in education. We are united in the belief that every young person deserves an honest, high-quality education grounded in facts and diverse perspectives, regardless of their background, race or zip code. The coalition represents more than 50 national, state, and local organizations, and hundreds of students, families, and educators across the state.