COLUMBUS, Ohio — Senate Bill 385 aims to take some of the pressure off this unprecedented academic year.
“Senate Bill 358 is going to give flexibility to educators, and thereby students, to be able to focus on daily lessons and really advancing their educational information without the stress of worrying about testing and score cards,” said Sen. Nickie Antonio (D-Cleveland), the bill's co-sponsor.
If passed, the bill would do away with state testing and report cards, and loosens requirements for homeschooling for the 2020-2021 school year. It also protects funding for districts who may have lost students whose parents withdrew them from in-person learning.
Greg Lawson of the Buckeye Institute says the bill is well-intentioned, but far too lenient.
“I definitely understand why it's being introduced, and certainly am sympathetic to some of the rationales that are there, but I would say that it’s a very broad bill that really, in a lot of ways, undermines academic accountability.”
While it’s unclear if the bill will gain any traction before the end of the year, Antonio is hopeful.
“It's a good sign that as it comes out the gate, it’s a bipartisan bill.“ Antonio said.
Lawson says the best course of action is to ride out this storm without changing the fabric of our education system.
“It pushes too many things off into an indefinite future,” said Lawson.