Fedor Votes to Protect Public Schools Amid Coronavirus Crisis
March 25, 2020
Today, state Senator Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo) voted to pass Sub. H.B.197, legislation that will help Ohio respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and that includes several provisions to support public schools.
“I am proud of the way school districts in Ohio have pulled together to help communities during this crisis,” Fedor said. “In just one week, teachers have found creative ways to teach their lessons digitally and many public schools across the state have begun providing free meals to children who live in their districts.”
The bill, which is expected to be approved by the House this afternoon, allows school districts to provide meals to students through the summer and to use distance learning to make up for any missed days following the closure of Ohio’s schools. The bill also waves state testing and report cards requirements for the 2019-20 school year. Additionally, it addresses the upcoming EdChoice voucher expansion by limiting the number of school buildings eligible for performance-based vouchers during the 2020-21 school year to the buildings that were eligible the previous year.
“This crisis has shined a light on the inequality of the school system in Ohio,” Fedor said. “Not every student has access to a computer or high-speed internet and I think we can all see now why restricting barriers to broadband is so necessary.”
The bill also extends absentee voting by mail for the Ohio primary to April 28 and prohibits public water disconnections during the pandemic. It includes an emergency clause so that it can go into effect immediately after being signed by Governor Mike DeWine. It was voted unanimously by the senators who were present at today’s session, which was conducted in accordance to the Ohio Department of Health’s social distancing guidelines.
“Today, we are not Republicans or Democrats – we are Ohioans standing up for our fellow Ohioans in a time of crisis,” Fedor said on the Senate floor. “Though this bill is not perfect, we had to resolve these immediate issues so we can now focus our energies on protecting as many Ohioans as we can during the COVID-19 outbreak.”