COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – House Democrats feel stuck with what they say is an unconstitutional Board of Education district map.
The current one is based on the first senate map that was ruled unconstitutional, and if it sticks, board of education districts will stay that way until the next redrawing in 2030.
House Democrats are urging Governor Mike DeWine to redraw the board of education map based on the third map submitted and mandated for use in the November election.
“School board maps are now based on illegal maps,” house minority leader Allison Russo said (D-Upper Arlington). “Maps that aren’t even valid or reflective of the state legislative districts.”
The Ohio Revised Code says the governor has the authority to designate boundaries of districts, “no later than the thirty-first day of January of the year succeeding such apportionment.”
A spokesperson for the governor’s office said according to that code, DeWine had a hard deadline of Jan. 31, so his window to submit a new map is closed.
But Russo said Governor DeWine still has a year to redraw the map; she said she interprets the revised code as a Jan. 31, 2023, deadline.
“Because the legislature did not have a map by the end of January, the governor has the authority to redraw the state school boards,” Russo said.
Russo said right now the legislative districts are not accurate after the five-senate map redrawings.
“We now, as a consequence of that, have state school board districts that do not reflect the wide range of schools and communities,” Russo said.
There are 19 board of education members, 11 are elected by voters and the rest are appointed by the governor.
“The state school board essentially determines what happens in our children’s classrooms,” Russo said.
Russo urges the governor to redraw maps before the candidate filing deadline on Aug. 10.