Perhaps you recall that Republicans used to favor local control of public schools by elected boards. That time is now gone, since Republicans bought into the idea of privatization of public funds. Now they support state takeovers, even though there is no evidence that state takeovers have ever been successful, and a good deal of evidence (see the Michigan “Education Achievement Authority” and the Tennessee “Achievement School District”) that they have failed.

In Ohio, as Bill Phillis reports here, the state Supreme Court just approved a state takeover of school districts where test scores are low.

Ohio Supreme Court strikes a major blow to local community control of school districts and the rule of law

On May 13 the Ohio Supreme Court upheld the egregious HB 70 of the 131st General Assembly. HB 70 removes the control of certain school district from the elected board of education to an appointed entity. HB 70 was enacted in a short timeframe in violation of Article II section 15(c) which requires, “Every bill shall be considered by each house on three different days, unless two-thirds of the members elected to the house in which it is pending suspend this requirement, and every individual consideration of a bill or action suspending the requirement shall be recorded in the journal of the respective house.” Additionally, the enactment of HB 70 violated Article II section 15(d) which requires that “No bill shall contain more than one subject, which shall be clearly expressed in its title.”

HB 70, as introduced, provided for wraparound services as a means to help low-performing districts to improve student outcomes. The amendment, which was void of public input and the opportunity for public input, is totally antithetical to the purpose of the original bill.

Justice Donnelly, in a dissent, clearly shows how the legislature violated the Constitution. The dissent provided a chronology of events that led to the unlawful enactment of HB 70.