An elected state school board member is quitting. Here’s why she’s stepping down
An elected member of the Ohio State Board of Education is stepping down at the end of this year. The departure of Christina Collins comes amid a lawsuit over major changes made to the board by state lawmakers and after the board itself passed a controversial resolution that she opposed.
Collins was elected to the board in 2021. Her school board district was redrawn after she was elected to a four-year term.
Collins joined the other Democratic-leaning members of the board to oppose a provision of the new budget that eliminated the Ohio Department of Education, replacing it with the Ohio Department of Education and Workforce.
That law, which took effect in October, also transferred power over curriculum and academic standards away from the 19-member board, 11 of whom are elected.
Those powers were moved to DEW, which is headed by a new cabinet-level director. Steve Dackin, who was the state school superintendent for 11 days last year before resigning over ethics concerns about inside information he had before getting that job, was appointed to that position last month.
“The change with the board in the mid-biennium budget, I mean, that’s a huge change to the board’s role. I believe the board is a constitutional body and I believe it should have retained the duties that it has,” Collins said, adding that she’ll stay on the suit as a parent affected by the change.
Earlier this year, the board passed a resolution against a federal rule that requires schools to investigate claims of discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity or risk losing their school breakfast and lunch funding. Collins opposed that resolution, which angered LGBTQ advocates and caused consternation on the board for months.
Collins said her decision to step down from the board isn’t based on any of those things. She said having a baby in November ultimately led to her decision: “I truly need to be a little more protective of my time.”
Collins’ resignation is effective at the end of this year. She won’t say what her next chapter brings but she hints she will continue to work with educational policy. Collins ran for the House last year in a heavily Republican district, losing to incumbent Rep. Sharon Ray (R-Medina).