Letters to the Editor: Nov. 26, 2022

Thomas Suddes’ Nov 14. opinion piece “Election Underscored Long, Slow Decline of Ohio Democratic Party” criticizes but doesn’t offer many solutions for how the Dems could do any better in this unfairly gerrymandered state which carries an electorate that appears to be willing to vote for candidates who pander to Trump. The gerrymandering chicanery in which the Republicans engaged had a profound effect on the election and how the Democratic Party was supposed to counter that chicanery is a mystery to me.

I will agree that the Democratic National Committee seems to have written off Ohio and perhaps for good reason. So far, my personal experience with living in Ohio since 2021 has included having to put up with two “F Joe Biden” flags in my immediate neighborhood. Despite how reprehensible the Trump was to me, I would never dream of flying such a flag with his name on it.

President Biden has done a lot to help the working people of Ohio and every other state and Republican lawmakers have been keen to take credit for Biden’s work despite not voting for the very programs aimed at making our lives better. Likewise, the red electorate will happily take whatever is offered without acknowledging its origins. I see the Republican party as being full of hypocrisy and completely lacking in self-awareness.

- Mary Beth Sweetland, Beavercreek

A minority controlled Ohio Legislature is proposing SB178, which shifts the responsibility to develop educational policy, establish financial standards and implementation of programs to the governor, leaving the Ohio Board of Education with only the responsibility to select the state superintendent, license teachers, handle staff disciplinary issues and make school territory transfer decisions.

In June of 2021, the Ohio House passed HB 110 in the bipartisan biennial operating budget for FYs 2022-2023 that included The Fair School Funding Plan. This plan went a long way to address the way Ohio funded schools which the Ohio Supreme Court ruled unconstitutional in 1997. Yes, ensuring safe schools, equal access to quality programs and quality educators is expensive. The funding of HB 110 will be phased in over the next two years. The risk is that funding must be revisited every two years. With a powerless Ohio Board of Education, will a minority controlled legislature remain committed to Ohio’s students?

SB 178 also matters because non-educators will be controlling not only funding, but policy and standards (content). Ohioans elected the members of the Ohio Board of Education, not the Governor, to set policy and programs. SB178 will allow a gerrymandered minority to dictate what is taught and how. We have only to look to Texas and Florida to see the chilling consequences of controlled and censored education.

- Libby Earle, Hamilton