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Week of December 5, 2022

The Department of Education just announced that State Board of Education will hear testimony for Member Mike Toal's resolution rejecting Title IX anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ+ students on
Monday, December 12, 1pm, NOT TUESDAY.

If you have already submitted testimony or the in-person testimony form,
Your testimony will be pulled forward to Monday, December 12.

Read the State Board of Education Meeting Agenda HERE


Honesty for Ohio Education Condemns
State Board of Education Member Kirsten Hill's
Hateful Transphobia on Recent Podcast

During a recent podcast promoting Toal's anti-LGBTQ+ resolution,
State Board Member Kirsten Hill made abhorrent comments labeling educators and school staff who protect the rights and safety of LGBTQ+ students as "groomers" and normalizing pedophilia.

Read more below

Statehouse Updates

The Senate Primary and Secondary Education Committee will hear ALL testimony for SB178 TODAY Tuesday, December 6 at 3pm, including proponent, opponent, and interested party. If the bill is voted out of committee, it may advance to the Senate for a full floor vote TOMORROW Wednesday, December 7 at 1:30pm.

Other bills being heard today and tomorrow include Senate Bill 365 (to impose new definitions of capitalism terms in curriculum), Senate Bill 361 (to allow veterans to be employed as teachers without licenses), and House Bill 151 (places a ban on trans youth from participating in school sports). 

We need your help in the home stretch of Lame Duck season.


Local School News
Photo courtesy of Katie Forbes, published by The Buckeye Flame
This weekend in Columbus, we saw additional targeting, hatred, and violence against the LGBTQ+ community. Our hearts are with all of those impacted and disrupted by these terrible events. Details below. 

In case you missed it...

Many thanks to incoming State Board Member Senator Teresa Fedor and Darold Johnson of OFT for sharing the insight and expertise about education bills
in play during Lame Duck.


2022 Lame Duck Session Has Begun!
Follow fast-moving legislation with our Lame Duck Tracker

Watch LIVE and Recorded Hearings
Legislative Calendar 
Legislation Tracker
Lame Duck Tracker


SB 178
Testimony Hearing & Possible Vote
All Testimony: Proponent, Opponent, Interested Party
TODAY Tuesday, December 6, 2022, 3pm, South Hearing Room

Senate Primary and Secondary Education Committee
Agenda | Watch the LIVE hearing

Possible Vote
TOMORROW Wednesday, December 7, 2022, 9am, South Hearing Room
Senate Primary and Secondary Education Committee
Agenda | Watch the hearing

The Senate Primary and Secondary Education Committee will hear ALL testimony for Senate Bill 178 on Tuesday, December 6, at 3pm, including proponent, opponent, and interested party. The bill is also flagged for an amendment and possible vote on Tuesday and Wednesday. If the bill is voted out of committee, it may advance to the Senate floor for a full vote on Wednesday, December 7 at 1:30pm.

Senate Bill 178 would create the Department of Education and Workforce (DEW) and shift oversight of the Department of Education and State Board of Education to the governor and their appointments. The bill also strips the State Board of Education of significant educational responsibilities, including the development of academic standards and model curricula, and reduces its role to oversight of educator licensure and conduct, school territory transfers, and appointment of the state superintendent.

Learn more about SB 178 Read analysis of bill | Read Honesty's Statement

Senator Reineke introduced SB 178 in May 2021, but the bill did not move until November after voters elected three new members to the State Board of Education.  

SB 178 would rename the Department of Education as the Department of Education and Workforce (DEW) and shift oversight of public education from the State Board of Education to an appointed director from the governor's office. Highlights below.

  • Creates a governor-appointed Director of Education and Workforce to oversee DEW
  • Creates the Division of Primary and Secondary Education and the Division of CareerTechnical Education, each headed by a deputy director
  • Transfers most of the powers and duties of the State Board of Education and the Superintendent of Public Instruction to the DEW director, including the adoption of education standards and model curricula and assessing student achievement and school district performance
  • State Board of Education duties reduced to appointing the state superintendent, school territory transfer, decisions about licensure and staff conduct

Tell the Senate Primary and Secondary Education Committee to STOP SB 178
Email Senators HERE


TAKE ACTION | Bill Info | Orginal Bill As Written | Analysis 

Sponsor: Senator Bill Reineke (R-Tiffin)Sponsor Testimony
Committee: Senate Primary and Secondary Education Committee


December 12 & 13, 8am
Meeting Material  |  Watch Meetings

Vote is on Tuesday, December 13, 8am

Meeting Agenda HERE 

Today, the Department of Education announced the State Board of Education will hear testimony for Member Mike Toal's anti-LGBTQ+ resolution on Monday, December 12, 1pm, not on Tuesday. The Board will vote on the resolution on Tuesday, December 13, 2022. Instructions for testimony and several ways to TAKE ACTION are provided below.

Learn more about this resolution HERE


State Board of Education Meeting
December 12 & 13, Meetings Begin at 8am
Monday, December 12, 1pm (arrive at least 2 hours prior to meeting)
Vote: Tuesday, December 13, 8am

1) Contact State Board Members NOW
Email Board members HERE
Demand State Board members reject this targeted discrimination and VOTE NO on Toal's resolution. 

2) Sign-On!
Petition to Protect the Rights and Safety of ALL Students & Families
Sign-On Letter for Local School Board Members

3) Testify!
Instructions for testimony and templates HERE
Testify in person on Monday, December 12 -- submit your request form NOW!
Submit written testimony by Sunday, December 11, 5pm

4) Pack the State Board Meeting!
State Board of Education, 25 S Front St, Columbus 43215
Show your allyship and solidarity by attending the meeting and supporting the students and families targeted by this resolution.


Important Information about Appointed 2023 Board Members

The terms of four appointed State Board members will expire on December 31, 2022:
Mark Lamoncha
Paul LaRue
Walt Davis
Mike Toal 

Per Ohio law, the governor appoints, or reappoints, members to the Board and the Senate confirms those appointments. Traditionally, the governor appoints the new members ahead of the first meeting of a newly elected Board in January. We anticipate Governor DeWine will appoint new members in late December or early January, before the January 9 & 10 Board meeting.

When available, appointments will be uploaded HERE

State Board of Education Member Kirsten Hill calls educators and school staff who affirm LGBTQ+ students "groomers" and "hardcore Marxists"

Outgoing State Board Member Kirsten Hill, who organized a bus to in the January 6 riot and insurrection in Washington, DC, was featured on a podcast in November. Hill maligned educators and school staff by levying dangerous accusations about grooming and pedophilia and disparaged the students and families fighting for their rights at that State Board of Education. 

Her comments included:

  • "I think groomer is an appropriate name to call these teachers and administrators and school counselors and social workers at the schools they’re grooming the kids. Those professionals are trained to affirm. Affirming care. There’s no talk to maybe discuss it further or wait a little bit. No, they’re trained in their professional development and through their associations to affirm a child who declares that they feel like a boy today, maybe they feel like something else tomorrow, maybe they don’t feel like a boy or a girl."
  • “[T]hey want to make them into citizen activists. To the hardcore Marxist teachers and administrators, it’s not about the student learning, how to read ink on paper. It’s learning how to teach the student to be ‘politically literate.’”

Honesty condemned Hill's repugnant comments, outraged these remarks came from an elected public education leader whose charge is to serve ALL Ohio students and support educators, not attack vulnerable families and make unfounded accusations about sexual abuse.

We condemn the reckless, transphobic comments made by outgoing State Board of Education Member Kirsten Hill....

Labeling educators and school staff who affirm and protect LGBTQ+ students as pedophiles and groomers, and reducing gender identity to a phase, perpetuates dangerous falsehoods about the LGBTQ+ community. This type of rhetoric promotes discrimination and violence against an already marginalized community and our most vulnerable youth. 

Read more from The Buckeye Flame HERE 

Contact Member Kirsten Hill at 

LGBTQ+ coalition offers professional development opportunity to the State Board of Education 

This week we offer BIG THANKS to Kaleidoscope Youth Center, Equality Ohio, GLSEN Northeast Ohio, TransOhio, Just ACTS LLC, the Diversity Center of Northeast Ohio, and YWCA Columbus. This coalition sent a public letter to the State Board of Education offering professional development services to increase fluency in LGBTQ+ concepts and terminology in advance of the December meeting.

In part, the letter stated:

Together, our organizations have provided more than 100 years of direct service to LGBTQIA+ Ohioans. We are proud to act as resources to all whose decisions, policies, and practices impact the LGBTQIA+ community, and we want to offer an opportunity to partner with the State Board of Education for professional development....
We know that each of you strives to have data, insight and knowledge of best practices when making decisions, especially those that impact historically marginalized communities. Our organizations are ready and eager to partner with you in advance of the upcoming Board meeting on December 12-13. 

Find coverage of the letter from the Ohio Capital Journal HERE


Our hearts are in Columbus after an event on December 3 attracted the attention of recognized hate group the "Proud Boys."  These issues are deeply complicated, and have implications for how we all take care of our personal safety. Please take this opportunity to consider how you protect yourself online and in your everyday activities. The ACLU has a few steps everyone can take to protect their digital privacy HERE.

It's important to hold space in our thinking for the impacts of this event, and how this event is one incident in a long string of targeted violence, hatred, and vitriol against our communities. The Proud Boys showing up in Columbus is directly tied to the bills and resolutions we fight in the Statehouse and at the State Board of Education. It is tied to media coverage of our communities. And it is tied to the opposition groups we fight in advocating for honesty in education. 

Education Reform Symposium from UC's School of Education

Supporting the LGBTQIA+ Community in Schools, from Kaleidoscope Youth Center
More Events
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Are you a middle school, high school, or college student who cares about
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