Do you think the General Assembly represents you? Watch Ohio Channel

Of course, skeptics would say it was the legislature. after that. The new and improved parliament is probably considered much better. Today’s Ohio legislators have college degrees. They know espresso is a drink, not an overnight delivery.

Still, there’s a handy test to gauge how “representative” a General Assembly really is. One of the things Ohio is doing right is televising the sessions of the Ohio Senate and the Ohio House of Representatives and their committee hearings on the Ohio Channel (

Watch for an hour or two. Then ask yourself what and how much Congressman “X” or Senator “Y” represents. you what you personally think and want. The answer to that tells you what you need to know. And it’s not beautiful.

Due to the fight over the Abortion Rights Amendment, several other issues are being buried in the legislature. That’s how insiders like it.

One of the more interesting arguments, both for and against, is whether Republican Governor Mike DeWine and his successors on both sides should further strengthen state oversight over Ohio’s K-12 schools.

In the 1950s, voters created state boards of education, empowering them to employ superintendents of public leadership. But voters largely left it up to Congress to write the job descriptions for state commissions and superintendents as heads of the Department of Education. Congress could soon pass legislation to create a new Ohio Department of Education and Labor, headed by a DeWine-appointed director, and make the board and superintendent anything but bystanders.

The Republican governor at the time, George V. Voinovich, attempted to change the (elected) board to an appointed board. But Scioto County Democrat and then House Speaker Byrne Riffe refused. A compromise: a board with a mix of elected and appointed members.

Congress will almost certainly give Mr. DeWine what he wants. And assigning the governor direct responsibility for K-12 education would at least show where the gains are.

Yet public schools across the country are battlegrounds in an endless culture war. Fortunately, for the past 60 years, Ohio governors have been centrists, not ideologues. And perhaps it will always be so in the State House.

Still, those who support direct governor oversight of K-12 schools question whether future governors could inject their own philosophies into schools, fueling the culture wars over schooling that are raging today. It is necessary to consider whether That’s not a Mike DeWine deal. But it could be a successor.

Thomas Suddes is a former legislative correspondent for The Plain Dealer in Cleveland, writing at Ohio can contact him

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