In addition to high-profile races like the Governor’s race, Ohioans also voted on lesser-known but equally critical races for the State Board of Education.
The State Board of Education is comprised of 19 members — eight are appointed by the Governor and 11 are elected from districts across the state. Seven of these 11 elected seats were on the November ballot.
State Board of Education members run without party designation on the ballot; however, both parties watch these races very closely, hoping that a candidate with their political ideology will be elected.
This year, as the debate about the Common Core has gained attention around the state, many eyes are turning to the State Board of Education and the role its members play in Ohio’s education system. While the Ohio General Assembly is responsible for education-related legislative policy, the State Board of Education interprets and implements these legislative changes and is responsible for creating policy and making recommendations related to K-12 education in Ohio.
These responsibilities include implementing content standards, setting graduation requirements, and providing accountability measures for districts through the report card system and teacher evaluations. The State Board of Education is also the administrative body responsible for discipline of those holding teaching licenses. It also oversees mergers of school districts and the sale of property from one school district to another.
After votes were cast on November 4, Republicans retained control of the State Board of Education, although Democrats saw some success, as they picked up two seats. Roslyn Painter-Goffi, a Democrat, beat incumbent Republican Bradley Lamb in the 5th District. Ms. Painter-Goffi received 34% of the vote to Mr. Lamb’s 32%. There were two additional candidates running as well.
For the seat being vacated by State Board Chairwoman Debe Terhar, a Republican, Democrat Pat Bruns was successful against Republican Zac Haines, winning 56% to 44%.
In the 2nd District, Kim Redfern — wife of Representative and Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern — was unsuccessful in her bid, losing to incumbent Republican Kathleen McGervey. Representative Redfern also had an unsuccessful evening, losing his bid for reelection in the Ohio House of Representatives.
Current Representative Robert Hagan (D-Youngstown) will also be joining the Board, winning his election in the 8th District with 52% of the vote.
State Board of Education Candidates
(Election winners are in bold.)
Click here to view the table.