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Ohio Senate President Opposes Scrapping School Testing This Year

State Sen. Matt Huffman was elected president of the Ohio Senate for the next session.
Ohio Senate
Ohio Senate President Matt Huffman

Though most schools are still dealing with the effects of the pandemic, the Republican leader of the Ohio Senate says he’s not in favor of scrapping required state tests in K-12 schools this year, as some lawmakers have suggested.

Some Ohio lawmakers have proposed scrapping state-mandated proficiency tests for this school year, as happened last year, because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Ohio Senate President Matt Huffman (R-Lima) says the tests are needed to help determine how to help students who may have lost ground due to interrupted learning.

“We are going to have to do some extraordinary things in what we do, and how we do it and where we do it," Huffman says. "We will be advised by these tests so I think it’s important that they go forward."

As new assessments show a dip in student performance during the pandemic, Gov. Mike DeWine has asked schools to come up with plans by April 1 on how to make up for those learning deficits.

"We simply cannot fail these children," DeWine said Tuesday. "Each child in Ohio deserves the opportunity to live up to his or her full, God-given potential. And we cannot allow this pandemic to get in the way of their ability to flourish and to thrive."

DeWine says Ohio has access to $2 billion in federal funding to help schools come up with specific plans, which could includes ideas such as extending the school year, longer school days, additional tutoring, and more mental health services.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment.