Advocacy Update – 1.15.21 – State Board of Education News; Senate Names Committees

State Board of Education – While the focus this week was mostly on other national and state news, there is some education news of interest in Ohio. The State Board of Education met this week. The majority of the meeting was focused on new member orientation. However, as happens every two years, the election for new officers was also held. As expected, Laura Kohler was re-elected as president, and Charlotte McGuire was re-elected as vice-president. While the vote for Ms. McGuire was unanimous, the vote for Laura Kohler was split. The other nominee for president was Jenny Kilgore, who received votes from John Hagan, Diana Fessler, Kirsten Hill, Brendan Shea, and Jenny Kilgore.  These five board members are known for their more conservative views. Kristen Hill drew criticism from some quarters for organizing an Ohio contingent to attend Washington D.C. last week for the “Stop the Steal” event. This event, of course, turned into a deadly riot. Ms. Hill has indicated that her contingent did not participate in any of the violence that ensued that day. 

The full board includes: 

Elected Members – Charlotte McGuire, Diana Fessler, Jenny Kilgore, Antoinette Miranda, John Hagan, Brendan Shea, Kirsten Hill, Christina Collins, Michelle Newman, and, Meryl Johnson 

At-Large Members – Laura Kohler, Eric Poklar, Martha Manchester, Steve Dackin, Mark Lamoncha, Mike Toal, and.  John Timothy Miller

For more information on state board of education members, please go to

Senate Committees Named – The Ohio Senate named new committee chairs and members. Of particular interest to the education community is the Senate Primary and Secondsary Education Committee which will be chaired by Senator Andrew Brenner. The Vice Chair will be Senator Louis Blessing III.  Other members include Stephen Huffman(R), Sandra O’Brien (R), Michael Rulli (R), Theresa Fedor (D) (Ranking Member), Vernon Sykes (D) 

Senate Finance Committee chair will, once again, by chaired by Senator Matt Dolan. In a departure from recent senate committee structures, there will be no senate finance sub-committees.