For the past year, Ohio policymakers have been grappling with the issue of deregulating public schools. But what does deregulation mean--and how should policymakers go about doing it?

In this new report--authored by Education First’s Paolo DeMaria, Brinton S. Ramsey, and Susan R. Bodary--the Fordham Institute calls for a sweeping deregulation agenda. By cutting through the red tape, on-the-ground leaders will be empowered to recruit, develop, and manage a high-performing staff; innovate new models for education; and custom-tailor their educational approach to the unique needs of students.

The suggestions for commonsense reform include:

  • Eliminate seniority as a consideration in layoffs of nonteaching employees;
  • Expand opportunities for schools to use non-licensed individuals;
  • Eliminate districts’ ability to collectively bargain away inherent management rights, including the right to assign staff;
  • Eliminate any structural requirements on teacher salary schedules; and
  • Allow districts to remove teachers, including tenured ones, if they are evaluated ineffective for more than two years.

The report also recommends the creation of a simple process that allows district boards to waive certain state regulations and the formation of a high-level working group that would identify and evaluate ideas for further deregulatory action. 


If you have questions about the book, please email Aaron Churchill.

Paolo DeMaria has a unique blend of K–12, higher education, and public-finance experience from twentyfive years of public service in a variety of executive, legislative, and administrative roles in Ohio government. Since joining Education First, he has played a leadership role in the firm’s college-completion and college-readiness work. He has also been significantly involved in projects that have provided…

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Brinton S. Ramsey has spent her career working to improve access to high quality education for all students. Brinnie works primarily on projects that support college and career readiness initiatives including implementation of college ready standards, developmental education, professional development and instructional materials review. She is the author of several reports, monographs, and case studies on various aspects of…

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Susan R. Bodary is a trusted reform leader with a proven track record of success in local, statewide and national education initiatives. As a partner at Education First, Susan has advised governors, commissioners and education, business and legislative leaders in Ohio and more than twenty other states on issues related to college- and career-readiness, teacher and leader effectiveness, college completion and STEM. She has…

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