ICYMI: Ohioans Still Waiting for DeWine to Draw Legal State School Board Districts
July 11, 2022
Columbus, OH — In case you missed it, Anna Staver from the Columbus Dispatch reported on the latest fallout from Mike DeWine and his fellow Republicans’ continued failures to follow the law and pass fair maps: no set state school board districts just weeks away from the filing deadline. Republican law-breaking has already resulted in two primaries costing Ohioans tens of millions of dollars, and now schools, parents, students and candidates are all in limbo waiting for DeWine to do his job and draw the required legal, state school board districts.
“Elected members come from districts drawn using three contiguous state Senate districts, according to Ohio law. But the boundaries mapped in January no longer do that. DeWine created the maps using the first set of state House and Senate maps…The Ohio Supreme Court rejected five sets of state House and Senate maps as unconstitutional,” writes Staver.
Instead of putting teachers, parents and school children first when drawing the map, he put politics above anything else by drawing board of education districts that are no longer in accordance with Ohio law. Now DeWine has created even more chaos and confusion as he fails to draw state school board maps that reflect the current state legislative maps.
Read more from the Columbus Dispatch here and below:
- State board of education members adopt model curricula, review and revoke educator licensees, set standards for teacher education and develop long-term goals for Ohio’s 1.7 million public school children.
- Voters get to choose 11 of the board’s 19 members. The governor appoints the rest. Elected members come from districts drawn using three contiguous state Senate districts, according to Ohio law. But the boundaries mapped in January no longer do that.
- DeWine created the maps using the first set of state House and Senate maps. He had to. Ohio Revised Code says board of education districts must be established by Jan. 31. And if the General Assembly doesn’t create them, the governor has to do it.
- The Ohio Supreme Court rejected five sets of state House and Senate maps as unconstitutional. And Republicans on the redistricting commission have essentially given up on drawing another before the November election. A federal court ordered the third versions be used for 2022 only. Those maps will be used in Aug. 2 primary election for House and Senate races.
- “Gov. DeWine has an obligation to apportion new State Board of Education districts that reflect the third set of legislative district maps,” OEA President Scott DiMauro said in a statement.
- New maps “will be far from perfect,” he added. But the ones drawn in January “suppress the voices of urban and suburban families and significantly reduce opportunities for underserved communities to elect education leaders who represent their needs and concerns.”
- As for what happens next, that decision rests on DeWine’s shoulders.