Parents, grandparents, and educators in Ohio. Contact the governor and legislators and urge them to stop HB 154. Now. State takeover has already failed in Ohio, yet the Senate Education Committee slipped it back into a bill intended to support struggling districts instead of taking away their democracy.

Bill Phillis and Jeanne Melvin of Public Education Partners send this urgent message.

Jeanne Melvin, President of Public Education Partners (PEP), sets the record straight on Substitute HB 154 in a letter to the editor of the Dispatch
The House of Representatives, by an overwhelmingly majority, passed HB 154. As passed by the House, the bill repealed the HB 70 state takeover bill and provided some resources for struggling districts.
The Senate Education Committee has hijacked HB 154 by inserting the Ohio School Transformation Plan into it as a substitute bill. Readers may recall the original HB 70 (131st General Assembly) focused on wraparound services but the Senate Education Committee hijacked that one and amended the state takeover claptrap into it.
To the Editor:
Ohio lawmakers are still working to replace House Bill 70, Ohio’s school takeover law (Dispatch article, Wednesday). Why reinvent the wheel? Earlier in 2019, House Bill 154, a bipartisan policy offering support for lower-performing school districts, was designed to repeal and replace HB 70 and encourage wraparound services for high-poverty schools. HB 154, an evidence-based model created using results from a five-year research study of school turnaround, was passed without amendment in the Ohio House by a vote of 82-12.
Some misguided members of the Senate Education Committee rely on lobbyists who represent for-profit education interests for advice and direction in education policymaking. On Tuesday, the committee adopted Sub HB 154, written by some of the same influence peddlers who helped create HB 70 in the first place, completely changing HB 154 into another school takeover law.
The time has come to listen and heed the considerable input from thousands of parents, educators, school leaders, community members and other school stakeholders who contacted the governor and legislative leaders this summer to request the end of state takeovers of public school districts.
If Sub HB 154 moves forward, it will burden Ohio with a school takeover law that continues to ignore educational expertise, thoughtful research and field-tested results.
Let’s encourage Gov. Mike DeWine to say no to the lobbyists and think tanks that represent education profiteers by demanding the Senate committee reject Sub HB 154 and use the language of the bipartisan HB 154 to repeal and replace Ohio’s failed school takeover agenda.
Jeanne Melvin, Public Education Partners, Columbus
William L. Phillis | Ohio Coalition for Equity & Adequacy of School Funding | 614.228.6540ohioeanda@sbcglobal.net| www.ohiocoalition.org