While the board and staff of Cleveland Transformation Alliance have not established official policy stances on the issues outlined below, we are deeply committed to equity in education as it relates to Cleveland public schools and the families we serve.
The following legislation have been introduced by the Ohio House of Representatives and the Ohio State Senate with potential impact on public education:
HB 322 – Education Curriculum —Regards the teaching of certain current events and certain concepts regarding race and sex in public schools.
This bill prohibits public entities from requiring discussion of current events and prohibits the teaching of a list of topics dealing with race, sex, slavery, and bias.
HB 322 was introduced in May of 2021 and referred to committee in June of 2021. Three hearings took place between June – Sept. 2021 with public testimony presented during the second and third hearings. Opponents of the bill include the Ohio Education Association, ACLU, Equality Ohio, YMCA Greater Cleveland, Honesty in Education Ohio, Columbus School District, League of Women Voters and Public Education Partners, and Ohio School Psychologists Association, among others.
HB – 327 – Education Curriculum—To prohibit school districts, community schools, STEM schools, and state agencies from teaching, advocating, or promoting divisive concepts.
HB 322 prohibits public schools, state agencies, colleges, and universities from offering teaching, instruction, or training on “divisive concepts” or accepting private funding to promote such concepts. Violations of the bill would result in the withholding of funding to school districts or State Share of Instruction to colleges and universities. The bill has a list of concepts related to race, sex, nationality, color, and ethnicity that it defines as divisive and therefore prohibited.
Introduced in May of 2021 and presented to the State and Local Govt. committee June 2021, with five hearings as of February 2022. Hearings with public testimony were held in June and September. Opponents who testified represented the ACLU, Ohio Education Association, Ohio Council for Social Studies, Honesty for Ohio Education, Positive Education Partners, and Equality Ohio, among others.
HB 467 – Community Schools — Regards the operation, management, and accountability of community schools.
HB 467 was introduced in Nov. 2021 and referred to the Primary & Secondary Education Committee in November 2021. No additional updates available at this time.
HB 497 – Third Grade Reading Guarantee To eliminate retention under the Third Grade Reading Guarantee.
Ohio HB 497 was introduced in Nov. 2021 and referred to the Primary & Secondary Education Committee in Dec. 2021. Two hearings were held in March of 2022 with proponent testimony presented by representatives from the Ohio Education Association, Ohio Association of Elementary School Administrators, First Ring Schools Collaborative and Ohio Mid-Sized Urban Districts, among others.
HB 529 – School Curricula —To require public and nonpublic schools and public colleges participating in the College Credit Plus Program to post course curricula and other related information online.
Ohio HB 529 was introduced and referred to the Primary & Secondary Education Committee in January 2022. No additional updates available at this time.
HB 616 – Public School Curriculum — Regards the promotion and teaching of divisive or inherently racist concepts in public schools.
Commonly referred to as “Ohio’s Don’t Say Gay” legislation, HB 616 was introduced on April 4, 2022. No additional updates available at this time.
SB 240 – Community School Network — Authorizes the merger of one or more community schools and a nonprofit operator into a community school network.
Ohio SB 240, which would establish a process that would allow the merger of one or more community schools and nonprofit operators into a community school network, was introduced in Sept. 2021 and referred to the Secondary & Primary Education Committee. Four hearings have taken place from Nov. 2021 – April 2022. Public testimony includes opposition from Cleveland Metropolitan School District CEO, Eric Gordon and the Ohio Education Assocation, among others.
Ohio Statehouse photo credit: Wikipedia Commons