Ohio is a state dominated by Republicans. When progressive candidates won seats on the state board in the recent election, Republicans moved swiftly to strip the state board of its powers and transfer them to a new state agency.

The state board has 19 seats. Eleven are elected. Eight are appointed by the Governor, Republican Mike DeWine.

News5 reported on the GOP plan to strip the state board of its powers.

For the first time in years, progressive candidates will control the elected seats on the executive agency, regulating if a resolution is able to pass or not. Candidates are voted on as nonpartisan candidates, however, each leans conservative or progressive and will be endorsed by a party. School board candidates tend to share their beliefs publically.

Three of the five seats up for grabs were taken by liberal candidates. Tom Jackson, of Solon, beat out incumbent Tim Miller by about 50,000 votes. Teresa Fedor, a now-former state senator from Toledo, beat opponent Sarah McGervey by more than 30,000 votes. Katie Hofmann, of Cincinnati, beat out incumbent Jenny Kilgore by around 30,000 votes.

“We’re just looking forward to getting back to Columbus and doing the people’s work,” Jackson told News 5.

Now, seven of the 11 elected seats are held by Democrats. The elected seats ensure that the total board can’t pass all resolutions it wants, since it needs a 2/3 majority. Of the 19 total seats, eight were appointed by Gov. DeWine. Now, with 12 GOP seats, a Democrat would need to switch over for policy to pass. This could change depending on attendance.

Even though Republicans hold a majority, they don’t have a 2/3 majority, and they won’t be able to pass resolutions without at least one Democrat.

Republican Governor Mike DeWine endorsed the plan to neuter the state board.

Gov. Mike DeWine said Wednesday he supports an Ohio Senate bill that would overhaul the Ohio Department of Education, gut powers from the Ohio State Board of Education and give his office more oversight of education.

“I think virtually every governor for 40 or 50 years has wanted to have more control in regard to the Department of Education,” DeWine, a Republican, told reporters. “So this governor is not going to be different. You know, I support the bill.”

Senate Bill 178 would put the Ohio Department of Education under a cabinet-level official in the governor’s office and rename the agency the Department of Education and Workforce, which would be called by the acronym DEW. The cabinet official would oversee the department, a task currently held by the state school board. The department would have two divisions: one for primary and secondary education and one for workforce training.

The 19-member state school board, made up of 11 elected members and eight members appointed by the governor, would continue to exist, but it would be stripped of most of its duties. It would oversee educator licensing and select the superintendent of public instruction, who would be a secretary to the board and an advisor to the DEW leader in the governor’s office.

“Candidly, the bill was not our idea, but I support the bill,” DeWine said. “I think what the public expects is accountability. And it’s hard to have accountability under our current system. You know, having the Department of Education with kind of a joint control between the governor’s office and the governor on certain areas, and other areas be the state elected Board of Education, I think is a very significant improvement.”

We have seen the same anti-democratic move in other states, like Indiana and North Carolina, where the legislature removed powers from the Governor or state superintendent so as to keep control of education in Republican hands, disregarding the voters’ wishes.