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Proposed new Ohio agency could shift influence on education

February 14, 2018

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A Republican state lawmaker has proposed putting Ohio’s governor fully in charge of K-12 education.

A bill proposed Wednesday would join Ohio’s departments of Education and Higher Education and a state workforce development office as part of a new Department of Learning and Achievement. The governor would appoint its leader.

The propose would leave the mostly-elected state Board of Education, which oversees the Education Department, with some oversight responsibilities but less policy influence.

Rep. Bill Reineke (RY’-nuh-kee), of Tiffin, says his plan could improve accountability and the responsiveness of Ohio’s public education system to 21st-century workforce needs.

Some Democrats call the idea a “mega-department of education” that would increase bureaucracy and enable more influence from politics and special interests. Groups representing school officials raised similar concerns.

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