Ohio state board of education picks new president after former leader resigns

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — There’s new leadership at the state Board of Education of Ohio, after the board president and another member resigned last month in a controversy over an anti-racism resolution.

A row of desks in a classroom with a backpack hanging up on the back wall
The board elevated vice president Charlotte McGuire to president and selected Steve Dackin as VP.

McGuire is among the 11 elected members. Dackin is one of 8 appointees of Gov. Mike DeWine, who said recently he opposes a bill to change the board to an all-elected body.

“I’ll take the position that I assume every governor would take, and that is that the ability to appoint people to the school board is important,” DeWine said. “It’s important the governor have the ability to do that.”

Board president Laura Kohler and member Eric Poklar resigned last month after the board rescinded an anti-racism resolution it had passed in the summer of 2020 and replaced it with one that didn’t mention equity or require diversity training.

Both had been appointed by DeWine. Laura Kohler and Eric Poklar had been reappointed to the board to terms that were supposed to end in December 2024.

Republican Senate President Matt Huffman said that “diversity thing” was a concern for him in reappointing Kohler and Poklar.