Ohio bill would require school board members to run every two years

A bill introduced in the Ohio House of Representatives would require local school board members to run every two years instead of every four, as is currently required under Ohio law.

State Rep. Mike Loychik, R-Bazetta introduced the legislation, which he said would allow parents to hold school board members, who are elected, to account more frequently. His district is in northeast Ohio near Youngstown.

The bill has not yet been assigned a number, Loychik’s office said in a statement.

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“The community will have the opportunity to make their voice heard at the ballot box and my hope is that this will produce better candidates; who overall make important decisions regarding our children in their day to day life while attending school,” said Loychik in a statement.

This bill is not the only bill that would put additional restrictions on local schools Loychik has introduced.

Loychik has additional legislation pending in the Ohio House that would also prohibit schools from requiring students to wear masks, of which he is a primary sponsor with Rep. Jean Schmidt. That bill is House Bill 400 and is still pending.

According to media reports, Loychik was removed from a school board meeting near Youngstown in September for refusing to wear a mask.

Pediatrician Dr. David Roer, who has been a Centerville school board member for 29 years, said it’s already difficult enough to get people to run for school board every four years.

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“So, not being able to find a lot of people that are willing to invest the time and do this every four years - I think the process is going to be even worse if it changes to two years,” he said.

Will Schwartz, deputy director of legislative services at the Ohio School Board Association, said the board does not have an official stance on the bill because the organization’s legislative platform doesn’t include a mention on specific terms.

Schwartz noted it is part of the organization’s goals long-term to recruit more people to run for local school board.

“We don’t have an official position on it, but we’re certainly interested in the topic and looking forward to discussions with Rep. Loychik as well as the general assembly about ensuring accountability within school boards across the state,” he said.

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