COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTRF) — Votes fell short of passage in the House to give Ohio’s governor more administrative power in K-12 education with a ban on transgender student-athletes in girls sports, according to The Associated Press.
The proposal had cleared the state Senate.
Politicians divided, the Democrats had complained about changes and the rush from majority Republicans, but were thrilled at the 2:30 a.m. vote count. Additionally, the change would have prohibited schools from discriminating against children because of their COVID vaccination status, while not changing any existing laws regarding other required vaccines.
The legislation is now dead, however the issue can be regarded in the next legislative session. Republicans, nationwide, had rallied to ban transgender student-athletes.
There are 18 states that ban transgender students from participating in school sports, according to the nonprofit think tank Movement Advancement Project.
The late-night session had too much disagreement among GOP officials, and they may have to repeat their arguments with the new and robust Republican General Assembly in January if the bill is reintroduced.
The GOP controls 64 seats of the 99 seat General Assembly and will jump to 67 seats due to the Republican victories last month.
Republican Gov. Mike DeWine had voiced support for overhauling education oversight but had questioned the need for banning transgender student-athletes. He explained that the matter is, best handled by leagues and athletic associations.
That legislation in questions says no school or athletic conference “shall permit individuals of the male sex to participate on athletic teams or in athletic competitions designated only for participants of the female sex.”
There’s no evidence of a problem concerning transgender girls competing in sports and the number of such participants is negligible.
There was a proposed transfer to merge the proposed ban with a separate proposal to shift oversight of the state’s education department from the State Board of Education and school superintendents to a director appointed by the governor.
The transfer would also include many of the state school board’s powers to the department’s new director, who would be able to make significant changes to academic standards, model curricula and school district ratings.
Supporters of the legislation said it would promote accountability and transparency, and encourage school board members to focus on bigger issues like the drop in student achievement during the COVID-19 pandemic, instead of the political infighting currently in these boards.
The Ohio Federation of Teachers, an opponent, said that giving more control to the governor’s office would add partisanship to the oversight of education across the state.