Why I Support S.B. 178: Education needs reform, and the Department of Education is in the way

To answer the reasons I support the Ohio Senate Bill 178, the logic of supporting bigger government to get to smaller government has to be understood. What S.B. 178 proposed by the Ohio Senate will do is essentially remove many of the current Ohio Department of Education Board’s existing powers and put them in the hands of a new director-level cabinet position appointed directly by the governor. The point of the matter is that the current Ohio Board of Education is a worthless body of government that spends most of its time debating diversity and transexual issues and does not have a track record in providing proper education to the future kids of Ohio. And there is no prospect of solving that problem soon, or ever. By design, the Board of Education is a flawed concept that should never have been implemented in 1953. In my view, all the Departments of Education, from the state to the federal level, should be eradicated. Education needs leadership to reflect performance, and the most obvious way to do that is to attach the responsibility directly to governors, who are then better controlled by state legislatures. I see this Bill as a step toward removing power from bureaucratic Boards of Education and replacing them with leadership opportunities. What the Senate in Ohio wants to do is a great thing. I know some of the people involved and understand their intent. Granted, the path to Hell is paved with good intentions, and to many critics, this S.B. 178 can look like just another path to get to Hell. But I would say that public education is already in Hell, and at this point, any path made can only take it out or fail altogether. But an attempt at reform is better than not trying at all. And suppose Ohio is prosperous in this endeavor. In that case, it could pave the way for real education reform and the complete removal of all Departments of Education and replace it with more leadership-directed accountability. 

As many are aware, I am weary of giving the governor of Ohio any more power. The Director position of Health run by Amy Acton directly for Governor DeWine was an unmitigated disaster during the Covid nonsense. So putting that same level of attention into the field of education might look insane. But the way these Department of Education Boards run is far worse. Even during Covid, if I needed to get a hold of someone in the governor’s office, I could. I made my voice known and knew what doors to knock on. And that’s what I’m looking for with this S.B. 178 Bill; I want accountability and a door that I can knock on and get results. I don’t expect the door knocks to be friendly, actually quite contentious. A dispute-free world is not what I think S.B. 178 will do. But with the current Department of Education in Ohio, we have zero accountability. If you talk to one person, they will blame someone else. And when you speak to someone else, they will blame the original person you were talking to. Dealing with the Ohio Department of Education is an insane level of progressive nonsense in which I see no value. It certainly doesn’t help children; it has taken education and made an advanced mess of it. And there are so many problems with education; with the way the teacher unions ultimately control the Departments of Education all over the country, there is no desire for reform from their point of view because they have things set up the way they want them. 

I see S.B. 178 as an opportunity to give a strong governor a chance to make significant reforms in education. I wouldn’t say that Mike DeWine is a strong governor, but the example provided by Ohio could give great governors like DeSantis in Florida, or Noem in South Dakota, and other strong states a blueprint that would eventually pave the way for a new way of dealing with education needs in each state, and provide a competitive atmosphere that is desperately needed. For anything to improve in education, competition and high expectations have to be a priority, as the ability to survive the radical labor elements which will be against anything, and everything must be part of the plan. I come from a business background and understand that good leadership does not come from group consensus building. It comes from solitary leadership that is accountable for success and failure. Otherwise, failure, such as what we have seen in my home district of Lakota, will be absorbed into a culture of complacency. I have tried to reform the group consensus model in my home district by helping to get conservatives elected to the school board there, but the results have been that no matter what is done, the system itself protects itself from any reform, and failure is guaranteed from the outset. Nothing can save Boards of Education anywhere because they are designed to fail by the premise of their existence. I have been saying for a long time that the concept of public education has to be scrapped completely. But many aren’t ready for that conversation. So scrapping the way that decisions are made for education would be an obvious next best step. Many of the names who have spoken out for S.B. 178, which I have put here for the convenience of understanding, I like and think are sincere in their efforts.   I also am very supportive of the several names who have sponsored the 2000-page Bill, which at this point, I have read. It took me a while, there is a lot there, but the gist of it is an opportunity to replace a Department of Education with a door I can knock on and get results. And I’m all for that.

So for the small government critic who says that this S.B. 178 is just another big government solution that takes away voting accountability from the Department of Education, I would say that for many people, the reality is that most people don’t just jump into a swimming pool. They will dip their toes in the water and get in ever so slowly, getting mad at those who do jump in and splash them with water. S.B. 178 is like a handrail that those types of people can hang on to while they ease themselves into the water, the water being education reform. I would like to jump in and pull the plug draining the whole thing at once. Then, fill the pool with fresh water in which everyone hasn’t used the restroom in. Because from my point of view, there is no way to clear that water now that years of corruption and progressive intention have dirtied it up to the point of no return. But to pull the plug, you have to get in the water, and S.B. 178 provides those who still believe in a government solution to education something to hang on to. In this case, leadership is directly attached to the state governor.  Ohio looks to have opportunities beyond the next four years of DeWine to have strong, conservative governors, so I think there are better opportunities for S.B. 178, knowing some of these legislators personally, to have success than in just continuing to do what we have now, which is just a liberal extension of the Biden administration and their further destruction of children’s minds. I think we need action faster than later and more profound and bold rather than timid and safe because the clock is ticking. And at this point, I am willing to give a bold option a chance, not for the adults who are thriving off a corrupt system, but for the kids who need real leadership and an opportunity for a better tomorrow. 

Rich Hoffman

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