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Lawmakers have thrown a wrench into the actions of the state board of education because it has once again delayed selecting a company to select state supervising candidates. Although the Ohio education system as a whole is already saddled with layer upon layer of unnecessary bureaucracy, it is problematic for both the state superintendent and now interim superintendent to step down with not even the beginning of a process to replace them.

The board blames Senate Bill 1, which was approved by the Senate in March. And they say the potential restructuring of the entire department has created too much uncertainty for them going forward. Well guys, welcome to Ohio.

In a 14-4-1 vote, they kicked the can on the way to a May board meeting, when they hoped to decide on a search firm to bring honorable candidates to the board.

Among those who voted against the delay was board member Teresa Vidor, who told the Ohio Capital Journal, “I believe that these candidates will be ready to help our students in Ohio, no matter what circumstances they will deal with under their responsibility.”

Fedor is right. The right supervisor will be fully aware that they will face interference and outright obstruction from their legislators. It’s part of the job. It makes no sense to try to shield anyone from that before they put the board’s list up for review. A good search firm should be looking for precisely the kinds of candidates who can take what the legislature cooks.

“I think that without a firm rule, our potential candidates will be less inclined to throw their hat in the ring,” he said. Board member Diana Fessler said, according to the Capital Journal. “…the candidates are not going to stand in line and say ‘pick me, pick me,’ because legislation is up in the air. It’s just bad timing.”

Perhaps it would be perfect timing, if it cuts out those who don’t stop doing their jobs when education legislation is up in the air. This is how the state government and bureaucracy have chosen to operate here. Perhaps the right candidate can mitigate the damage he continues to inflict on Ohio children.

It is a shame that the state board of education has once again chosen to delay finding this person.

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