COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — In one week, the fate of the Ohio Department of Education could become clearer as a Franklin County judge will make a decision about pending litigation.
A new state law to give the governor more power and oversight over the education agency was set to go into effect more than one week ago. But twice now, a judge has put a temporary restraining order on parts of the law.
“The court will work its way through, this is the way our judicial system works, and we respect that system,” Governor Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) said.
Members of the board of education as suing the state over the new law and with the TRO in effect, it means the new Ohio Department of Education and Workforce can only partly go into effect, and DeWine still cannot appoint a director for the new department.
“Moving forward is important and having a resolution to this and I think the children of the state deserve to have this matter resolved and we need to move on,” DeWine said.
Because of the pending lawsuit, the Board of Education president and vice president canceled their monthly meeting, but some members of the board still met on Tuesday, without the board president or vice president.
“I think what you’re seeing is people who were elected to do a job showing up for their job and serving the people of the state of Ohio,” Ohio Senate Minority Leader Nickie Antonio (D-Lakewood) said.
The governor’s office said he does not have a comment on the meeting still happening and said that’s a matter between the board and legal counsel.
“I think they were being responsible,” Antonio said. “I think it was irresponsible to continue to dismantle when there was a TRO.”
Next Friday, the judge will decide whether to put the law on pause indefinitely as the legal battle continues, to put no hold on the law as the suit continues, or to dismiss the case entirely.