State Board of Education President Debe Terhar is quoted as saying she just wants to wait until their next meeting to discuss the Inspector General’s report on State Superintendent Stan Heffner — the one where he was found to have engaged in a systemic pattern of ethics violations over many months and including various matters. Sounds reasonable until you learn that the next meeting is mid-September — six weeks away!
That is unacceptable, so we’re asking you to help us in engaging in an email campaign to Board President Debe Terhar and the other members of the State Board to demand immediate action. My letter is below — feel free to copy and paste anything except my name (I’m using that on my emails). You should add your own contact information at the end of the message. Email addresses for all Board members (yes, even Stanley Jackson) can be found at the end of the post.
The Honorable Debe Terhar
President of the Ohio Board of Education
Dear President Terhar,
The recent findings by Ohio Inspector General Randy Meyer of violations of state ethics laws by Superintendent Stan Heffner merit swift action by the Ohio Board of Education. Mr. Heffner’s actions have brought dishonor upon the Ohio’s top education leadership position and must be addressed without delay.
The superintendent’s claim that it as a “lack of judgement” is insufficient to remedy the Inspector General’s findings of a systemic pattern of unethical behavior over the course of nearly a full year. Additionally, the findings reveal that Mr. Heffner’s actions were not limited to one area of his professional responsibilities, but instead included misuse of state funds, misuse of state resources, inappropriate treatment of his subordinates, and misuse of his authority as superintendent during testimony before the Senate Finance Committee as he supported a law that would direct $2.2 million annually to his future employer (ETS).
Under your leadership, the State Board needs to immediately act to place Stan Heffner on indefinite leave from the Ohio Department of Education. While any criminal charges that arise from Mr. Heffner’s behavior are in the hands of the Franklin County Prosecutor, the Board of Education needs to review the disciplinary options at its disposal and conduct and relevant investigations through ODE without Mr. Heffner casting undue influence over other ODE employees.
Mr. Heffner’s confirmed behavior can be found to have violated numerous principles of Ohio’s Licensure Code of Professional Conduct for Ohio Educators. Violation of these principles are the primary reason Ohio educators have their licenses revoked. Based on the Inspector General’s findings, Mr. Heffner’s violated principles #1 (Professional Conduct) & #7 (Accepting Compensation for Self Promotion or Personal Gain) repeatedly over a span of many months, behavior that should result in the revocation of his Superintendent’s license.
That projected outcome is not based on allegations, but is based on the confirmed findings published by Ohio’s Inspector General.
President Terhar, I again urge you to take swift action to reassure Ohioans that the State Board of Education does not condone illegal behavior by its leaders at any level. Mr. Heffner has spoken recently of bringing swift justice, including criminal and civil charges, on school districts if allegations of misreporting data were confirmed. Based on his own tough words, and reminding you again that these are not allegations, but confirmed findings, Mr. Heffner would mete out prompt punishment in a case like this.
With the school year rapidly approaching, and with districts in the process of enacting so many major changes, Ohio’s schools need to know they have a leader who can be trusted.
Stan Heffner is not that leader.
Here is a list of the emails you can use to contact President Terhar & members of the Board of Education (including Supt. Heffner, Senator Lehner, Representative Stebelton).
Please let us know if you receive any responses.
|President TERHAR, DEBE||Debe.Terhar@education.ohio.gov|
|Vice President GUNLOCK, THOMAS||Tom.Gunlock@education.ohio.gov|
|Superintendent HEFFNER, STAN||Stan.Heffner@education.ohio.gov|
|ANGELA THI BENNETT||Angela.email@example.com|
|COLLINS, MICHAEL L.||Michael.firstname.lastname@example.org|
|HARDIN, JEFFREY A.||Jeffrey.email@example.com|
|HOVIS, ROBIN C.||Robin.firstname.lastname@example.org|
|JACOBS, ANN E.||Ann.email@example.com|
|JONES, C. TODD||Todd.firstname.lastname@example.org|
|MCKINLEY, KRISTEN E.||Kristen.email@example.com|
|OAKAR, MARY ROSE||Maryrose.firstname.lastname@example.org|
|WILLIAMS, BRYAN C.||Bryan.email@example.com|
|Senator PEGGY LEHNER||SD06@senate.state.oh.us|
|Representative GERALD STEBELTON||District05@ohr.state.oh.us|