Eye on Education


Ohio State Board of Education Voters Guide 2012

Molly Bloom / StateImpact Ohio

There are seven state Board of Education seats up for election.


The political makeup of the Ohio state Board of Education is unlikely to shift significantly after the November 2012 general election.

While the board is officially non-partisan, it currently has six Republican members and five Democrats. That mix is likely to remain after the November election.

Unofficial results show incumbents Ann Jacobs (District 1), Jeff Hardin (District 10) and Mary Rose Oakar (District 11) defeating opponents.

Other results include:

  • In District 5, current District 7 board Member Bryan C. Williams, who was shifted to District 7 through redistricting, defeated tea party leader Marianne Gasiecki.
  • In District 6, current District 9 board member Michael Collins, who was shifted to District 6 through redistricting, defeated incumbent Kristen McKinley.
  • In District 7, homeschooled 23-year old Sarah Fowler, who works in her parent’s business, defeated lawyer James Collum and scientist John R. Sans.
  • And in District 9, fundraiser Stephanie Dodd defeated opponents Philip Gerth, a lawyer, and Larry A. Good, a car salesman.

The Voters Guide

This Election Day, once you get past the ballot headliners, you’ll see the names of folks running for a spot on the state Board of Education. This fall, there are contested races in all seven of the board districts that are up for election.

But it can be hard to figure out just what these folks stand for.

That’s why we put together this voters guide to help you get to know your state Board of Education candidates.

About the State Board of Education

Ohio’s state Board of Education doesn’t make the laws that govern the state’s schools – that’s mostly up to the Legislature. But it does shape how those laws are put into effect.

The board oversees the Ohio Department of Education and is responsible for hiring the state’s education chief, the Superintendent of Public Instruction. The board’s work includes determining what should be taught in Ohio’s schools, adopting rules for standardized tests and setting the requirements for teacher licenses. The board also makes decisions on things like school district territory transfers, transportation decisions, and revoking teachers’ licenses.

Among the issues facing the state Board of Education in the coming year are:

  • Hiring a new superintendent of public instruction after former Superintendent Stan Heffner’s resignation;
  • Trying to fix some big problems with the data underlying Ohio school report cards;
  • Shaping how new standardized tests for the new Common Core curriculum are used and how teachers will be evaluated;
  • Overseeing the implementation of the third-grade reading guarantee; and
  • As outlined in the board’s current work plan, boosting the high school graduation rate.

How to Use This Voters Guide

Use this map to figure out which district you live in and click through to your district’s voters guide. Click on your region or zoom in if you live near the border of a district. Or scroll down to view the text-version of the voters guide.

(Districts come up for election in rotation. Only Districts 1, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10 and 11 are up for election this year.)

Ohio State Board of Education 2012 Voters Guide

District 1

  • Includes: Allen, Auglaize, Champaign, Crawford, Defiance, Hancock, Hardin, Henry, Logan, Marion, Mercer, Morrow, Paulding, Putnam, Sandusky, Seneca, Shelby, Union, Van Wert, Williams and Wyandot counties, plus the northern half of Darke County and the southeastern corner of Fulton County.
  • Candidates: Stanley Jackson, Ann Jacobs

District 5

  • Includes: Ashland, Medina, Richland and Wayne counties plus Cuyahoga County outside of the city of Cleveland, Summit County oustide of Akron, the northwestern corner of Holmes County and a small part of western Stark County.
  • Candidates: Marianne Gasiecki, Rich Javorek, Bryan C. Williams

District 6

  • Includes: Most of Franklin County as well as all of Delaware and Knox counties.
  • Candidates: Michael L. Collins, Kristen McKinley, John P. Stacy

District 7

  • Includes: Ashtabula, Geauga, Portage and Trumbull counties, plus most of Lake County and the southwestern corner of Summit County, including Akron
  • Candidates: James J. Collum, Sarah Fowler, John R. Sans

District 9

  • Includes: Coshocton, Fairfield, Hocking, Guernsey, Licking, Morgan, Muskingum, Perry and Tuscarawas counties, plus western Franklin and Pickaway counties and the southern and eastern halves of Holmes County.
  • Candidates: Stephanie Dodd, Philip Gerth, Larry A. Good

District 10

  • Includes: Adams, Brown, Clark, Clermont, Clinton, Fayette, Gallia, Greene, Highland, Jackson, Lawrence, Madison, Pike, Ross and Scioto counties plus western Pickaway and Vinton counties
  • Candidates: Todd Book, Jeff Hardin

District 11

  • Includes: The Cleveland region, including northern and central Cuyahoga County and northwestern Lake County
  • Candidates: Beverly A. Goldstein, Mary Rose Oakar

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And lawmakers also tried to expand the voucher program to allow students at any public school to get a private-school voucher, as long as their family income was below a certain level. That effort, House Bill 136, stalled in the face of opposition from school districts, but its sponsor says he’ll try again.

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The state section of the Ohio’s funding pie has gotten a lot of attention recently. In early 2011, lawmakers scrapped the existing formula that had been used to allocate state money.
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