We received the following e-mail on May 10, 2000:
UPDATE ON HB602
PHONE CALLS ARE STILL NEEDED.
The Ohio House Education Committee met last night [May
9th]. HB602 was on the agenda for a vote. All
opportunities for public testimony are over. At the
beginning of the meeting, Committee Chair Charles Brading
announced that he had decided to remove HB602 from the
What does this mean?
1. There are 21 total members on the committee: 13
Republicans and 8 Democrats. At least 11 votes are needed
for a majority vote. All eight Democratic members have
determined to vote "no" on the bill. Three
Republican votes are needed to defeat the bill.
Republican members Roman and
Jordan have determined to vote "no" -- against
considerable pressure from the Governor. Therefore, only
one more Republican vote is needed to defeat HB602.
2. Chairman Brading has determined that he didn't have
the 11th "yes" vote needed to approve the bill,
so he pulled it from the agenda.
3. Does this mean we win in the effort to restore our
elected State Board of Education? Yes and no. If the bill
never receives a vote, we win for now. There are two more
weeks of legislative sessions scheduled this month. After
that the General Assembly is in recess until September.
At this time two weeks of session are scheduled for
September and two weeks for November.
Furthermore, a judicial decision is expected to be
rendered in July on the lawsuit that was filed last year
challenging the structure of the State Board. This is
expected to be a "slam dunk" decision in favor
of restoring the elected board
4. There will be two more meetings of the House Education
Committee: May 16 and May 23. At either of these meetings
HB602 could be placed on the agenda for a vote.
ALSO there will be two more weeks of political "arm
twisting" on the Republican members who have not
committed to giving the Governor his/her support for the
bill.Remember, a YES vote is a vote in favor of the
GOVERNOR'S CONTINUED CONTROL of the State Board of
A NO vote is a vote in favor of RETURNING CONTROL OF
EDUCATION POLICY TO A BOARD ACCOUNTABLE TO THE CITIZENS.
It is very likely that the Governor will use this time to
continue to pressure the Republicans who are on the
fence. This can't be emphasized enough. These Republicans
are being put in a position of choosing between a wise
decision and a political "you'd better support the
Governor's power grab" decision.
It also can't be stressed enough that restoring the board
to an elected board is CRITICAL to all families: HOME
EDUCATED students, PRIVATELY EDUCATED students, and
PUBLICLY EDUCATED students. Everyone who understands the
impact that the State Board of Education has on all
children pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade and on
the post-secondary education system, knows the CRITICAL
IMPORTANCE of RESTORING the State Board of Education to a
completely elected board -- accountable to the people
Please consider making additional phone calls to the
Republican committee members only. Please review the list
below and ask them to VOTE NO.
Phone numbers and e-mail addresses of
all Ohio House Education Committee Members
Ohio House Education Republican Committee members [all
numbers have an area code of 614].
Chairman, Charles Brading
[R-Wapakoneta]: 466-3819 [sponsor of HB602]
*It is not likely that Chairman Brading will vote against
his own bill.
Vice-Chairman, Bill Harris [R-Ashland]:
*It is likely that Rep. Harris will side with the
Jamie Callender [R-Willowick]: 466-7251
*Rep. Callender has committed to support the Governor.
*Rep. Calvert seems to be responsive to the voice of the
people. More calls are needed, especially from his Medina
area district. Rep. Calvert is a very important swing
Randy Gardner [R-Bowling Green]:
*It is likely that Rep. Gardner will side with the
*Rep. Hoops may be responsive to the voice of the people.
More calls are needed, especially from his NW Ohio
district. Rep. Hoops is a very important swing vote.
*Rep. Jordan is very responsive to public concerns on
this issue and will vote NO. Please call or write his
office to express your appreciation.
* I am not 100% sure about Rep. Peterson. Please continue
to call his office.
Twyla Roman [R-Akron] 466-1790
*Rep. Roman is very responsive to public concerns on this
issue and will vote NO. Please call or write her office
to express your appreciation.
[R-Washington CH] 466-3506
* I am not 100% sure about Rep. Stapleton. Please
continue to call his office.
[R-Xenia area] NEW 466-2038
* I am not 100% sure about Rep. Widener. Please continue
to call his office.
*Rep. Winkler may be responsive to the voice of the
people. More calls are needed, especially from her
Cincinnati-area district. Rep. Winkler is a very
important swing vote.
Ann Womer Benjamin [R-Aurora] 466-2004
It is likely that Representative Benjamin will side with
Please be respectful, but firm, in making your calls. If
your representative is a Democrat on the committee,
please call and express appreciation for their
willingness to vote no on this bill.
Suggested points to make with legislators:
1. Keeping the Governor in control of the State Board
of Education completely ERODES the "separation of
powers" between the executive branch and legislative
branch of state government.
2. There are other ways the Governor can INFLUENCE
education policies without controlling the State Board of
Education. (A) He appoints most of the members of the
Joint Council between the State Board of Education and
the Ohio Board of Regents. (B) He appoints all of the
members of his own Governor's Commission on Student
Success.(C) He has considerable influence over the
legislature which is controlled by his own Republican
3. Additional control over the State Board of Education
gives the Governor a MONOPOLY over education policy. NO
ONE PERSON should have that much control over education
4. NOBODY from the general public or professional
organizations testified in favor of this bill. Only 4
people testified to support HB602 [three weeks ago].
Three were members of the State Board of Education. One
was a representative of the Governor. A VOTE TO SUPPORT
THIS BILL IS A VOTE AGAINST THE PEOPLE.
5. The Governor's staff has stated that if we don't like
who the Governor appoints we can elect a new Governor.
This is a poor response. There are many issues that
contribute to the election of a Governor, not just
education. It is also more likely that voters can call
and actually speak to an elected State Board of Education
member if they have a concern. It is NEVER possible to
speak with the Governor directly if his appointees are
making poor decisions.
6. Please ask legislators to make a WISE DECISION NOT A
POLITICALLY CONVENIENT DECISION.
7. The pressure Gov. Taft is placing on Republican
legislators is a CLEAR DEMONSTRATION of the pressure he
places on his State Board appointees if the issue on the
table is important to him and exemplifies why HB602 needs
to be turned down.
Thank you very much for your help on this issue. Please
continue to be in
prayer for our legislators. Their decisions have
tremendous impact on our