General Assembly Keeps Foreign Languages, Home Economics in Ohio Schools

Cleveland Metropolitan School District 8th grade students read with their kindergarten buddies and help the young learners discover the joy of reading.
by J.D. Davidson


Foreign languages, business education and home economics still will be a required part of curriculum in Ohio schools after the Ohio Senate voted unanimously to stop a proposal from the Ohio Department of Education that would have allowed them to be eliminated.

The Senate concurred with House Concurrent Resolution 35 to stop a plan that would have changed the state’s administrative code to eliminate those required courses of study, a change put forth by the State Board of Education. The House passed the resolution, 95-0.

Wednesday’s vote marked the first time in 25 years the General Assembly stopped a rule from going into effect, according to Sen. Theresa Gavarone, R-Bowling Green, who serves on the Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review.

The committee reviews proposed, new, amended and rescinded administrative rules from more than 100 agencies in state government.

“Rarely, however, do we have a situation where we invalidate a rule. In fact, that hasn’t happened for 25 years, until today,” Gavarone said. “Some of these classes are even essential to some higher institutions. Moreover, these classes are considered essential to our businesses when they hire our recent 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 in favor of the change spoke to the joint committee.

A message left with David Dobb, executive director of the Ohio Association of Independent Schools, was not returned.

The National Federation of Independent Business, the Ohio Manufacturers Association, The Ohio Chamber of Commerce and the Ohio Business Roundtable all opposed the change.

“ODE’s amended rule defies legislative intent and would cause direct harm to the next generation of Ohioans as well as our economy,” Gavarone said.

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An Ohio native, J.D. Davidson is a veteran journalist with more than 30 years of experience in newspapers in Ohio, Georgia, Alabama and Texas. He has served as a reporter, editor, managing editor and publisher. He is regional editor for The Center Square.
Photo “sharing a story” by Ohio Department of Education.



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