Gov. Kasich wants different structure for Ohio school board



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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Calling it polarized and divided, Gov. John Kasich said he would like to change the structure of Ohio's school board, which can hire and fire the state superintendent.

The Republican presidential candidate told The Columbus Dispatch (http://bit.ly/1MfyrLo ) that the structure, with 11 elected seats and eight appointed by the governor, is partisan and used to push political agendas.

"I frankly think the whole thing should be changed," Kasich said. "I don't like the structure of it. I don't like the infighting . a governor should be able to pick their own head of the Department of Education."

Some of the governor's critics have said an all-elected board would be the best way to put politics out of the panel.

"The reason the people created the state board was to be a buffer between the superintendent and the governor's office," said William Phillis, executive director of the Ohio Coalition for Equity & Adequacy of School Funding and a former assistant state superintendent.

In 1953, voters approved a constitutional amendment creating the Board of Education and giving it the lone constitutional power of hiring the superintendent. Governors of varying political leanings have tried to change to board since its inception.

The governor's remarks followed calls last week by seven elected board members for an independent investigation into why data from poor-performing charter schools was omitted from evaluations by the husband of Kasich's campaign manager.

David Hansen, the state Education Department's school-choice director, has since resigned. Hansen's wife is the former chief of staff to Kasich. She recently left the role to work for Kasich's 2016 presidential campaign.

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Information from: The Columbus Dispatch, http://www.dispatch.com

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