Bills in the Ohio State Legislature deal with parental rights and property taxes

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Dozens of education bills became law during the ongoing biennial session of the Ohio General Assembly, which is scheduled to end Dec. 21. But even more have been launched – over 125 in fact.

Each of the bills fall into different points of the legislative process. Some are on the verge of being signed into law. Others have no chance of crossing the finish line.

Pre-legislature educational policies include culture war flashpoints, including several that dictate how race in history and current events can be taught. But not all of them drive wedges among Ohioans. Some are trying to cut education bureaucracy and improve school quality and the teaching profession.

The following are descriptions of some of the 125+ that have yet to pass but potentially could.

parental rights/social issues

Closely related to the debate about racism in public school education is the issue of parental rights.

Some Republicans claim that education is becoming too “woke” and believe that parents should be able to review educational materials and appeal anything they don’t want their child to learn. Critics of this approach say it will politicize education and weaken educational quality because teachers feel unempowered in creating lesson plans.

HB 240 would require STD and pregnancy prevention education in teens to teach risk avoidance and unhealthy behaviors including alcohol, drugs, dating violence, bullying, gambling, pornography and human trafficking. It would also require school districts to notify parents if the school decides to offer additional tuition and provide them with the educational materials. It would prohibit schools from offering additional classes without written parental consent. The Ohio State Board of Education would have to review each school district’s compliance with the provisions of the bill annually. Finally, it would allow parents to sue districts to enforce compliance with the bill. It is sponsored by Republican Representatives Reggie Stoltzfus of Stark County and Sarah Fowler Arthur of Ashtabula.

HB 529 would require public schools and private schools enrolling children with vouchers to post curriculum and instructional materials for each course of instruction online by July 1 of each year. It is sponsored by GOP Rep. Brett Hillyer of Tuscarawas County and Bill Roemer of Richfield.

property taxes and schools

Property taxes are a major source of income for school districts. However, two bills would change school districts’ ability to control their income.

House Bill 126 would limit how school districts challenge real estate values ​​to review boards. Critics say this could result in homeowners paying more for schools because commercial property owners would face fewer challenges. Sponsored by Rep. Derek Merrin, a Toledo Republican, the bill was recently mailed to Gov. Mike DeWine.

HB 369, sponsored by Rep. Casey Weinstein, a Hudson Democrat, would require school boards to approve property tax exemptions for residential properties in the community’s reinvestment area if the exemption equals or exceeds 50% of the property’s value.

HB 501 would authorize school districts to collect property taxes to pay school resource officials. Rep. Thomas Hall, a Republican from the Cincinnati area, is the sponsor.

Editor’s Note: This article is part of a series on the various education laws currently under consideration by the Ohio legislature. The Lima News will release details of more such bills in the coming days.

Including more than 125 educational bills pending in Columbus

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