The following article originally appeared on News5Cleveland.com and is published by Ohio Capital Journal under a content sharing agreement. Unlike other OCJ articles, Owned by WEWS of Cleveland, it cannot be freely reissued by other news outlets.

Midterm elections aren’t just about Ohio’s senator, governor, and state legislature. The Ohio Board of Education has five seats vacant for her, and with education policy emerging as a topic of discussion last year, educators are urging more people to learn why these races matter. I’m here.

The school board consists of 11 elected members and 8 members appointed by the governor. Ohio has a new district map for the board, so there are a lot of changes this year. While these elections generally don’t get much attention, they are among the most influential elections for families and educators, said Scott Di Mauro, president of the Ohio Education Association.

“We are serious about student success and focused on getting past all the insanity, politics, that has dominated the state board for the past few years,” he said.

Members are responsible for what K-12 public education becomes in their state. Catherine Tarther of Common Cause Ohio, a nonpartisan organization, said student council district representatives have a vote in determining policy decisions.

“There is some ongoing battle over what materials children should look at, what information is best to get, what is good history and factual information, and what is a problem. “So we need to have both a really good school board and a school board.” An excellent superintendent of public education. “

Combat includes but is not limited to:

  • Save Adolescents From Experimentation (SAFE) Act, HB 454. This prohibits gender-affirming care for LGBTQ+ minors. This includes hormone blockers, hormone replacement therapy (HRT), surgery, and sometimes mental health services. The bill would also force school counselors to tell parents if they think of their gender in a way that would be considered “misfitting.” , reveals that transgender people believe that being “groomed” makes them “trans”.

RELATED: Leaked audio shows Ohio rep.Introducing a bill limiting affirmations of care never spoke to the trans community

  • Divisive Concepts or “Two Sides” Bills, HB 327 and 322. Prevent schools from teaching about “controversial topics”. The bill’s sponsor, he told OCJ/News 5, means the Holocaust will be taught from “both sides”, including the perspective of “German soldiers.”

RELATED: Holocaust comments from representatives supporting ‘divisive notions’ bill raise concerns

  • Save Women’s Sports Act, HB 151/61. Prohibit transgender girls and women from participating in athletics alongside cisgender girls and women. The bill also requires genital testing for anyone “suspected” to be transgender.

RELATED: Ohio Republicans pass bill aimed at rooting out ‘suspected’ transgender female athletes through genital testing

  • The Ohio version of Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay, Don’t Say Race” bill is being called out by educators, activists and Democrats. gender at school.

RELATED: Lawmakers hear Ohio’s version of Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill

Controversy Over Superintendents

Ohio was left without a state superintendent after Steve Duckin’s tumultuous hiring and resignation in June.

RELATED: Ohio’s K-12 education chief resigns after less than a month

Just months before the start of the new school year, more and more laws were being introduced and considered by the state legislatures on primary and secondary education, but turmoil within the Department of Education led to the question of how ethical the job search should be. The question remained as to whether to start on time. When.

Duckin served on the school board before stepping down in February, applying for and leading the job search for superintendent.

Controversy Over District Reorganization

School board districts are to be determined, according to state law, by “the territory of three contiguous Senate districts established in the most recent apportionment.”

When Ohio’s district maps were decided by a federal judge in May, the judges implemented a third map set that was twice deemed gerrymandering and unconstitutional by the Ohio Supreme Court.

However, the districts drawn for the school board were based on a second set of maps, and Governor Mike DeWine did not update them.

Board districts are divided into different school boards.

“Education is the bedrock and foundation of a highly functioning democracy. If you want to disabling people to vote with wide-eyed eyes, you attack education.

With this year’s new redistricting reorganization, Peoples argued that some of the new districts, such as the one in Cuyahoga County, would reduce opportunities for blacks in Ohio to be represented. He claims it has nothing to do with race.

“These counties comprise the most diverse, marginalized and vulnerable students in the state,” she said. “These communities need full representation on the state school board, no less.”

The district is also less compact which is a requirement.

Controversy over Reorganization and Resolving Anti-Racism

Another controversy revolved around anti-racism resolutions. This 2020 ruling condemns racism and ensures fair opportunities for students of color.

Former Republican Party chairman Laura Kohler, who also wrote the resolution, was asked to resign after backlash from conservatives, and a year later members of the board voted to repeal it. Another member, Eric Pochler, was asked to resign.

DeWine has never commented on these resignations.

Combined with the reorganization turmoil, one Northeast Ohio board member, Dr. Christina Collins, was poached from her district. Michelle Newman, Meryl Johnson and Dr. Antoinette Miranda will also have to face new, very competitive and completely different seats.

Pulled from the Medina district, Collins is currently running for House District 66. Newman previously had a compact area east of Columbus, but now has a large district in eastern Ohio. Johnson’s neighborhood was in downtown Cleveland but is now supposed to represent the rural areas of Medina, Wayne and Richland counties. It is now more rural.

These four members voted against repealing the Board’s anti-racism resolution. Republicans deny any kind of political retaliation.

selection

Board candidates are conservative or progressive, but are voted as nonpartisan candidates. This means there is no limit to the number of candidates to vote for. In these races, the person with the most votes wins.

One of the first and most important tasks of the new board is to determine superintendents who will administer and enact statewide school policy.

“I just want to make sure the best people are in the position who are truly focused on student success so that we can get past book bans and all that other crazy politics and give kids what they need. It allows you to really focus on what you do,” Di Mauro said.

With no primaries, voters will have to wait until school board candidates are posted on the local board of elections website.

This story only scratches the surface of the district’s importance. Coming soon stories will include who the candidates are and what they stand for.

Want to stay up to date on candidate positions? OCJ/News 5 can help. We’ve created a guide for the 2022 midterm elections. This is updated daily based on candidate changes.

Follow WEWS Statehouse Reporter Morgan Trau. twitter and Facebook.

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