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Ohio education board passes controversial resolution against federal anti-discrimination policy

The Ohio State Board of Education has passed a controversial resolution — after months of debate— to push back on an anti-discrimination policy passed down by the Biden administration.

By a vote of 10 to seven, with one abstention, the board passed a resolution that supports bills in the Ohio Legislature that ban transgender students from playing girls sports or using girls bathrooms.

Opponents who testified against the resolution this fall said it was unnecessary and would lead to bullying of transgender students.

But its supporters said it was needed to push back on the Biden administration's Title IX policy that included protections against sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination. Backers of the resolution feared federal school lunch money could be in jeopardy if schools failed to investigate claims of discrimination.

The resolution is not a bill and doesn't carry the weight of law.

This was the last time the current state school board could have voted to pass this proposal.

The makeup of the board will change next year. Three new members, backed by teachers' unions, will be joining the board. Those members were elected, in part, on the promise that they wouldn't engage in culture war issues.

The Ohio State Board of Education is responsible for determining curriculum in schools, offering guidance, overseeing the Ohio Department of Education, and hiring the state school board superintendent.

But Ohio lawmakers want to take some of those duties from the board members. During the lame-duck session, the House and Senate have considered a bill that would strip the board of some of their powers.

Copyright 2022 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.

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.