GOP state representative who called public schools ‘socialism’ to chair Ohio House Education Committee. ODP Chairman David Pepper said Brenner’s appointment is “yet another example of how out of touch this legislature has gotten from the mainstream, common-sense values of Ohio families.”
Local state rep who called public schools ‘socialism’
to chair education committee
Columbus Dispatch | October 23, 2015 | Jim Siegel
A Delaware County lawmaker who has pushed to cut testing and also has called public education “ socialism” was named the new chairman of the House Education Committee on Thursday.
Rep. Andrew Brenner, a three-term Republican from Powell, was promoted by Speaker Cliff Rosenberger, R-Clarksville, after serving 10 months as committee vice-chairman.
The three-term Republican from Powell was promoted by Speaker Cliff Rosenberger, R-Clarksville, from his prior position as committee vice-chairman.
“Having a good education is the building block of a person’s life, and one of the most important functions that our state’s constitution requires of us,” Brenner said in a statement. “I am passionate about making sure that every child in this state has equal access to an excellent public education, and am excited to have this opportunity.”
Brenner has become noticeably more active on education issues over the last three years.
He was not among those who tried to push for elimination of Common Core standards for English and math. But this session he did help eliminate the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) tests in Ohio and limit the time students spend taking state achievement tests.
He sponsored a bill on community learning centers that was signed into law in July after it was amended to include a controversial process to allow for a state takeover of the failing Youngstown Schools. He also has sponsored bills to require cursive writing be taught in school, and require that every school district get at least as much per-pupil state funding as private schools receive.
Brenner drew fire from some in the education community, and drew a rebuke from former Speaker William G. Batchelder, for comments made in 2014.
Brenner penned an online column calling public education a “socialist system” and that “the only long-run solution is to move to a more privatized system,” as Russia did a couple of decades ago. The red hammer-and-sickle flag appeared above the column on a website that was run by his wife.
When some later criticized him with vulgarities, Benner retorted,“I’m guessing those people had a public education.”
He later said he was being sarcastic, admitting he should have used a different choice of words.
Ohio Democratic Chairman David Pepper said Brenner’s appointment is “yet another example of how out of touch this legislature has gotten from the mainstream, common-sense values of Ohio families.”< /p>
Brenner is replacing Rep. Bill Hayes, R-Granville, who agreed to step down as chairman as he focuses more on a 2016 run for Licking County prosecutor.