Ohio’s State Board of Education on Tuesday heard public comment on a proposed resolution treating biological sex as an “objective, scientific fact” and opposing school policies that seek to blur the lines on this subject.
Board member Brendan Shea (District 5) introduced the measure, which balks at regulations recently proposed by President Joe Biden. If finalized, the federal Department of Education rules would effectively force schools to call gender-dysphoric K-12 students by their preferred names and pronouns rather than their given names and biological pronouns. They would also require school athletic programs to assign children to teams based on avowed gender identity rather than physiological sex.
House Bill 99 went into effect on Monday, allowing Ohio teachers to carry firearms into their classrooms.
State Representative Thomas Hall (R-Madison Twp.) spearheaded the measure, which focuses on school gun and safety training. “We are doing something to help protect the lives of our children and staff at schools here in Ohio,” Hall said during the bill’s signing ceremony in June.
Legislation that would give local school boards the authority to put guns in the hands of teachers moved forward in the Ohio Senate after passing the House more than four months ago.
House Bill 99 received its first Senate hearing Wednesday in the Veterans and Public Safety Committee, with bill sponsor Rep. Thomas Hall, R-Madison Township, saying local schools need to be able to make decisions to protect students.
Foreign languages, business education and home economics still will be a required part of curriculum in Ohio schools after the Ohio Senate voted unanimously to stop a proposal from the Ohio Department of Education that would have allowed them to be eliminated.
The Senate concurred with House Concurrent Resolution 35 to stop a plan that would have changed the state’s administrative code to eliminate those required courses of study, a change put forth by the State Board of Education. The House passed the resolution, 95-0.
Wednesday’s vote marked the first time in 25 years the General Assembly stopped a rule from going into effect, according to Sen. Theresa Gavarone, R-Bowling Green, who serves on the Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review.
With the majority of Ohio school students back in the classroom, at least on a hybrid learning model, new data show COVID-19 cases related to school districts is relatively low.
Ohio’s new school dashboard and children’s dashboard launched this week, reporting 197 students and 122 staff members across Ohio have tested positive for the virus. That number is less than 1 percent of Ohio’s total cases so far.
State Senator Andrew Brenner (R-Powell) took to Facebook Wednesday to ease fears that the controversial 1619 Project may be included in the standards or curriculum for Ohio’s K-12 schools.
A rumor had been going around that the Ohio Board of Education would be voting on whether or not to approve the project’s works as part of the states’ history curriculum.
The Ohio Department of Health last month mandated the use of facial coverings by K-12 students. The mandate came with several exceptions, including for those who were unable to wear masks due to health issues and religious exemptions.
State leaders, including Gov. Mike DeWine, want the Ohio Controlling Board to approve $300 million in federal funding for schools across the Buckeye State.
They want $200 million from the Coronavirus Relief Fund for higher education and $100 million from the fund for K-12 schools. The money would help schools pay for safety measures brought on by COVID-19.