Urgent action required on House Bill 602 - Update #3

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UPDATE: The 1999- 2000 session of the Ohio Congress has concluded. HB602 is obsolete.  The information below is presented as background/historical information concerning this bill.  Please do not contact your Ohio congress members about this bill because it is obsolete.  This link was left on our web site for historical purposes only.
See also: Lawsuit filed against Ohio Governor and Ohio Board of Education
  Urgent action required on House Bill 602 - Update #2
  Urgent action required on House Bill 602 - Update #1

We received the following e-mail on May 17, 2000:


To all:

The Ohio House Education Committee met last night [May 16th]. HB602 was on the agenda for a vote. At the beginning of the meeting, Committee Chair Charles Brading announced that he had decided once again to remove HB602 from the agenda.

What does this mean?
1. There are 21 total members on the committee: 13 Republicans and 8 Democrats. At least 11 votes are needed for a majority vote. All eight Democratic members have determined to vote "no" on the bill. Three Republican votes are needed to defeat the bill. Republican members Roman and Jordan have determined to vote "no" -- against considerable pressure from the Governor. Therefore, only one more Republican vote is needed to defeat HB602.

2. Chairman Brading has determined that he didn't have the 11th "yes" vote needed to approve the bill, so he pulled it from the agenda.

3. There will be one more meeting of the House Education Committee: May 23.It is likely that HB602 will be placed on the agenda for a vote one last time. We need to continue to let key Republican legislators know that the public wants our elected board restored.

Again, it also can't be stressed enough that restoring the board to an elected board is CRITICAL to all families: HOME EDUCATED students, PRIVATELY EDUCATED students, and PUBLICLY EDUCATED students. Everyone who understands the impact that the State Board of Education has on all children pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade and on the post-secondary education system, knows the CRITICAL IMPORTANCE of RESTORING the State Board of Education to a completely elected board -- accountable to the people they represent.

Please consider making additional phone calls to the Republican committee members only. Please review the list below and ask them to VOTE NO.

Chuck Calvert [R-Medina] 466-8140
Representative Calvert at this time is our third vote champion. PLEASE express your appreciation to him and encourage him to stand firm.

Jim Hoops [R-Napoleon]: 466-3760
Rep. Hoops is a very important swing vote.

Cheryl Winkler [R-Cincinnati] 466-8258
Rep. Winkler is a very important swing vote.

Please be respectful, but firm, in making your calls.

Suggested points to make with legislators:
1. Keeping the Governor in control of the State Board of Education completely ERODES the "separation of powers" between the executive branch and legislative branch of state government.

2. There are other ways the Governor can INFLUENCE education policies without controlling the State Board of Education. (A) He appoints most of the members of the Joint Council between the State Board of Education and the Ohio Board of Regents. (B) He appoints all of the members of his own Governor's Commission on Student Success.(C) He has considerable influence over the legislature which is controlled by his own Republican Party.

3. Additional control over the State Board of Education gives the Governor a MONOPOLY over education policy. NO ONE PERSON should have that much control over education policies.

4. NOBODY from the general public or professional organizations testified in favor of this bill. Only 4 people testified to support HB602 [three weeks ago]. Three were members of the State Board of Education. One was a representative of the Governor. A VOTE TO SUPPORT THIS BILL IS A VOTE AGAINST THE PEOPLE.

5. The Governor's staff has stated that if we don't like who the Governor appoints we can elect a new Governor. This is a poor response. There are many issues that contribute to the election of a Governor, not just education. It is also more likely that voters can call and actually speak to an elected State Board of Education member if they have a concern. It is NEVER possible to speak with the Governor directly if his appointees are making poor decisions.


7. The pressure Gov. Taft is placing on Republican legislators is a CLEAR DEMONSTRATION of the pressure he places on his State Board appointees if the issue on the table is important to him and exemplifies why HB602 needs to be turned down.

Thank you very much for your help on this issue. Please continue to be in prayer for our legislators. Their decisions have tremendous impact on our families.