Manufacturers Debate Education Consolidation

Members of the OMA Government Affairs Committee this week heard a presentation from Kasich Administration officials on the merits for creating a new Department of Learning and Achievement which would merge the current Department of Education with the Department of Higher Education and other state workforce offices.

The merger has been formally proposed by Rep. Bill Reineke (R- Tiffin) as House Bill 512 and is pending in the Ohio House.

The bill sponsor and administration officials contend that the current structure is fractured and is not providing adequate workforce preparedness.

Presentation materials reviewed by committee members indicate that the new combined department would cut down on duplication of services and improve coordination of education and employment training.

Some manufacturers asked why the reform is being proposed in the final year of Kasich’s term. Administration officials responded by saying that while the reforms, if approved, would be the province of Ohio’s next governor, former Governor Bob Taft agrees with the need to streamline the state’s education system. 3/8/2018