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Homeschool Parents Testify Against Education Overhaul Plan

Andy Chow
House Government Accountability and Oversight Committee holds hearing on HB512 at the Ohio Statehouse.

A House panel listened to hours of testimony against a plan that would overhaul the state’s education system. The proposal would consolidate departments into one large education agency which answers directly to the governor. Many of the people lined up to speak against the bill are parents who homeschool their kids.

Deborah Gerth, who homeschooled all of her children, told the House committee that it’s important for education laws and policies to be consistent.

“My general everyday life would be affected by this simply because right now we can guarantee from year to year that I follow the same law,” said Gerth.

Gerth says that consistency is threatened by, HB512, that would take power away from the elected state school board and put it in the hands of political appointees.

Republican Representative Bill Reineke, the bill’s sponsor, says this won’t hurt homeschoolers. Instead, he says it will prepare students for college and the workforce.

“When we have 40% remediation and everyone gets up here and says that we shouldn’t change the system you gotta tell me why we shouldn’t change it when we’re getting bad results,” Reineke said.

Republican legislators added that any law change will still have to go through the General Assembly, as it does now.

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