Columbus Dispatch | Letter: Proposal would politicize education

I recently became aware that the Ohio Legislature is attempting to insert itself into the state education plan review and approval process, which is part of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

Legislative oversight and involvement is appropriate and welcome, but having direct authority to authorize a state’s educational plan — plans every state is required to submit under ESSA — is excessive and likely unhelpful. Beyond that, it’s entirely unusual. Ohio would become an outlier among the states, injecting the political complications of the legislature into a process that is already established.

This is better suited for our state board which is made up of elected and appointed individuals. Let them do their jobs. Legislators should certainly be a part of contributing to state education plans. However, to actively be involved in both the development and approval is concerning.

This is about politics, not policy. We must protect our students by ensuring their futures are not ensnared and encumbered by politicians who want to score political points.

As a father of young students, a pastor and a community leader, my goal is to respectfully offer an encouraging voice of accountability to ensure that these plans are not influenced by politics but are clearly focused on students without obstruction.

The Rev. Juan Rivera

Executive Board Member

National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference

Lead pastor

New Life Church

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