||We received the following
e-mail on March 24, 2000:
On March 9, 2000 State
Representative Charles Brading introduced HB
602 which will enact separate legislation to KEEP the
eight members of the State Board of Education appointed
by the Governor.
DEFEAT of this bill is CRITICAL. because there are a
great many decisions expected by the State Board of
Education over the next 12 months that will support some
of the more radical reforms [e.g. adoption of State
Health Model Curriculum; development of a new assessment
system based on the work of the Joint Council; etc...]
The current board does not have a conservative
majority...not even close, due to the eight appointees
who are directly accountable to the governor, not the
HB 602 has been assigned to the Ohio House Education
Committee, chaired by Representative Brading [the primary
sponsor of the bill]. Sponsor testimony was offered in
committee this week [3/21/00]. The text of Mr. Brading's
testimony will be provided in the very next post.
According to Representative Brading's staff, proponent
testimony is anticipated to be held on APRIL 11, 2000,
6:30 P.M. Opponent testimony time has not yet been
Please continue to call your State Representatives and
express your opposition to this bill. Let them know we
need to restore "representative government" to
our State Board of Education. This is a violation of the
"separation of powers" because it shifts too
much authority to the executive branch of state
government. The appointed members are directly
accountable to the governor, not to the citizens of this
To find out the phone number of your own state
representative or state senator, contact your county
board of elections (or link to http://www.legislature.state.oh.us).
BACKGROUND sent on previous email:
Article VI, Section 4 of the Ohio Constitution specifies,
"There shall be a state board of education which
shall be selected in such manner and for such terms as
shall be provided by law. There shall be a superintendent
of public instruction, who shall be appointed by the
state board of education. The respective powers and
duties of the board and of the superintendent shall be
prescribed by law."
UNTIL JULY 1, 1995 the Ohio General Assembly mandated
that the membership of the Ohio State Board of Education
would be determined by the electorate. We had a
completely elected 11-member board which was totally
accountable to the voters of Ohio.
An amendment was added to the state budget in 1995 to
give Ohioans a hybrid board. The eleven elected members
were retained. THE GOVERNOR WAS GIVEN AUTHORITY TO
APPOINT 8 ADDITIONAL MEMBERS. THIS PROVISION WAS SIGNED
INTO LAW WITH THE BUDGET ON JULY 1, 1995.
This shifted accountability AWAY FROM THE CITIZENS VIA
THE LEGISLATIVE BRANCH to the executive branch of state
A lawsuit filed July 30, 1999 in the Franklin County
Common Pleas Court asked the court to "declare that
the present members of the State Board of Education
appointed pursuant to the Appointed Member Provisions of
the Budget Act are holding office contrary to law and may
no longer exercise the authority of such office."
Plaintiffs are challenged the constitutionality of using
the state budget [HB 117] in 1995 to expand an 11-member
elected board to include 8 members appointed by the
governor. The plaintiffs correctly contend that this
action granted new power to the Governor to affect
education policies and decisions by the board. The State
Board of Education had been a completely elected body
since its formation in 1956.
The plaintiffs in the suit are:
· Debra Carlier, an elected member of the Pickerington
Local School District Board of Education [Fairfield
· Sam Salem, an elected member of the Akron City School
District Board of Education and a former teacher in that
school district [Summit County]
· Hugh Hoffman, a retired public school teacher and an
elected member of the Washington County Educational
Service Center Governing Board
· William Price, a parent of two minor children
currently attending school in the Oak Hills City School
District [Hamilton County]
The defendants in the suit are:
· Governor Bob Taft
· State Board of Education
According to the language in the suit, "Plaintiffs
contend that the challenged portion of the Budget Act is
unconstitutional because it was enacted as part of a
multi-subject Budget Act, in violation of the
requirements of Art.II, Section 15(D), of the Ohio
Constitution that no bill shall contain more than
one subject, which shall be clearly expressed in its
BECAUSE THE LAWSUIT HAS A HIGH CHANCE OF RULING IN FAVOR
OF THE PLAINTIFFS, MR. BRADING INTRODUCED HB602 -- A
SINGLE SUBJECT BILL TO KEEP THE APPOINTED MEMBERS. THIS
WILL CANCEL OUT THE LAWSUIT WHICH IS BASED ON THE FACT
THAT THE CHANGE IN 1995 WAS AMENDED TO AN UNRELATED BILL
-- THE STATE BUDGET.
Since the structure of the State Board of Education
impacts all families, your participation in contacting
your state legislators is greatly appreciated.
Bill 602 attempts an end-run around the lawsuit
We received this second e-mail also on March 24, 2000:
The following text is the exact copy of written
sponsor testimony submitted by Representative Charles
Brading to the Ohio House Education Committee on Tuesday,
March 21, 2000.
"House Bill 602 re-enacts as a separate act,
amendments made to House Bill 117 enacted by the 121st
General Assembly. H.B. 117 amended sections 3301.02,
3301.03, 3301.04 and 3301.06 of the Ohio Revised Code, to
permit the Governor to appoint eight individuals to the
State Board of Education. As a result, the State Board of
Education has eleven elected members and eight appointed
Last July, in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas,
a complaint was filed against the Governor and State
Board challenging the constitutionality of that portion
of the bill based on the single subject provision of the
House Bill 602, re-enacts the sections of H.B. 117 that
were challenged. The bill also dissolves the appointive
positions on the current Board and requires that Governor
to make new appointments to the Board within 30 days of
the effective date of the bill. The bill does not effect
the elected members of the Board in any manner.
House Bill 602, will save taxpayers from the cost of a
lengthy court battle and serves as an answer to the
question before the court.
Education is a very important issue and education policy
is expected from political leaders, especially Governors.
In 1995, Ohio was in the beginning of a huge education
funding court case. The sitting Governor felt that if he
was going to [be] held responsible for the condition of
education in the state he should share in the
responsibility and have some input on the Board.
Governor Taft has given his full support of House Bill
end of written testimony
1. Representative Brading indirectly acknowledges that
the appointees shift authority to the executive branch.
He does not, however, point out that the 8 appointees
only need 2 elected votes to carry a majority vote on a
19-member board. This situation severely weakens even the
accountability of the elected members to the citizens.
2. Representative Brading also did not mention that
the original language in HB 117  placed in the
budget by Gov. Voinovich, completely replaced the elected
board with an entirely appointed board. Outcries from the
public caused legislators to remove the language in the
House actions on the budget. When HB117 went to the
Senate side, Gov. Voinovich requested that a compromise
of 8 appointees be added to the state budget. If Gov.
Voinovich had his way, we would have NO ELECTED MEMBERS
of the State Board of Education.3. NOWHERE IN THE OHIO
CONSTITUTION is the state governor held responsible for
the condition of education. This weak argument is
Representative Brading's stated reason for introducing
4. Representative Brading mentions that HB602 will
save the taxpayers from the cost of a lengthy, court
battle. First of all, the court case will not be lengthy.
It is a "slam dunk" based on recent decisions
by Ohio's courts on the single-subject rule. Secondly,
the COST OF ROBBING CITIZENS THE FREEDOMS AFFORDED BY
TRUE REPRESENTATIVE GOVERNMENT IS MUCH, MUCH HIGHER THAN
THE COST OF ONE SMALL SLAM DUNK LAWSUIT.