It is no secret that I am a proponent of local control for Ohio’s school districts. I have been quoted in stories on our website and in the media on numerous local control issues including our state’s burdensome amount of required tests. At the heart of my views on local control is the simple fact that communities themselves should decide what they want their schools to be, not the kind of schools the State and the Feds want.
That’s why Little Miami is joining with several other districts in the state of Ohio in sending a message to our state legislators regarding the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). ESSA passed Congress with bipartisan support and was signed into law by President Obama on Dec. 10, 2015 and replaced the No Child Left Behind Act.
ESSA has shifted broad authority from the federal government to state and local agencies, providing them with greater flexibility and decision-making power. A key component of the new law emphasizes the return of more local control to our school districts.
Ohio must submit its plan to comply with ESSA to the federal government. It appears that Ohio will be submitting its plan in January or February of 2017, with a minimum of input from school districts themselves. I’d like to change that.
Locally, the Ohio Dept. of Education will be gathering public input on Sept. 29 at a public hearing on Ohio’s ESSA Plan. The hearing will be held at the Hamilton County Action Agency. Event info here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/cincinnati-essa-stakeholder-meeting-registration-26762080102
I encourage everyone to take the time to contact our legislative representatives regarding our desire for more local control, less testing, less unfunded state mandates. Below is a copy of a letter I recently sent to our State Superintendent Paolo DeMaria regarding Ohio’s ESSA Plan.
Dear Dr. DeMaria:
As Superintendent of the Little Miami Local School District, I am writing to express my recommendations regarding Ohio’s plan for the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Along with hundreds of other public school superintendents around the state, I am committed to the following beliefs:
Public education is a critical component of an informed democracy.
Public education serves each and every one of our students who represent the diversity of our communities.
Locally controlled public education with governmental support is valued over public education dominated by government regulations.
The principle architects of the locally controlled education system in Ohio should be community members – including parents, principals, teachers, students, school board members and superintendents.