(The Center Square) – Foreign languages, business education and home economics will remain a regular part of the Ohio schools curriculum after the Ohio Senate voted unanimously to stop a proposal from the Ohio Department of Education that would have allowed their elimination.
The Senate approved Concurrent House Resolution 35 to halt a plan that would have changed the state’s administrative code to eliminate these required courses of study, a change proposed by the State Board of Education. The House passed the resolution, 95-0.
Wednesday’s vote marked the first time in 25 years that the General Assembly has prevented a rule from going into effect, according to Sen. Theresa Gavarone, R-Bowling Green, who serves on the Joint Committee on Rules Review of the agency.
The committee reviews proposed, new, amended and rescinded administrative rules of more than 100 state government agencies.
“However, we rarely have a situation where we invalidate a rule. In fact, it hasn’t happened for 25 years, until today,” Gavarone said. “Some of these classes are even essential to certain higher establishments. In addition, these courses are considered essential to our companies when hiring our young graduates.
Sen. Hearcel Craig, D-Columbus, said private schools requested the rule change. No senator spoke in favor of the rule change. Gavarone also said neither the Ohio Department of Education nor any group or individual pro-change spoke to the joint committee.
A message left for David Dobb, executive director of the Ohio Association of Independent Schools, was not returned.
The National Federation of Independent Business, Ohio Manufacturers Association, Ohio Chamber of Commerce and Ohio Business Roundtable all opposed the change.
“The amended ODE rule defies legislative intent and would cause direct harm to the next generation of Ohioans as well as our economy,” Gavarone said.