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

 The Ohio Department of Education in downtown Columbus, where State Board of Education meetings are held for two days each month.
Karen Kasler
Statehouse News Bureau
The Ohio Department of Education in downtown Columbus, where State Board of Education meetings are held for two days each month.

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.

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Board president Laura Kohler and member Eric Poklar resigned last month after the board rescinded an anti-racism resolution it had passed in the summer of 2020 and replaced it with one that didn’t mention equity or require diversity training.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

Copyright 2021 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.

Karen is a lifelong Ohioan who has served as news director at WCBE-FM, assignment editor/overnight anchor at WBNS-TV, and afternoon drive anchor/assignment editor in WTAM-AM in Cleveland. In addition to her daily reporting for Ohio’s public radio stations, she’s reported for NPR, the BBC, ABC Radio News and other news outlets. She hosts and produces the Statehouse News Bureau’s weekly TV show “The State of Ohio”, which airs on PBS stations statewide. She’s also a frequent guest on WOSU TV’s “Columbus on the Record”, a regular panelist on “The Sound of Ideas” on ideastream in Cleveland, appeared on the inaugural edition of “Face the State” on WBNS-TV and occasionally reports for “PBS Newshour”. She’s often called to moderate debates, including the Columbus Metropolitan Club’s Issue 3/legal marijuana debate and its pre-primary mayoral debate, and the City Club of Cleveland’s US Senate debate in 2012.