When the Ohio General Assembly passes legislation regarding education-related policies, most of the components direct the State School Board to interpret and implement the changes.  As a result, electing members that truly support public education is an important and often overlooked step that Ohioans can take to help to ensure that public schools have the best advocates making these decisions.

This year, there are seven seats up for election that have pro-public education advocates that we recommend.  State Board races are “non-partisan”, so those who vote based on party affiliation can’t simply tell who supports their ideals by simply looking at the ballot.

Here are our recommended candidates and a map of the State Board of Education districts (click to enlarge):


For help finding your district and candidate, go to Ohioballot.com.



    Whoa! It seems Plunderbund may not have done their own research here. Michael B. Kinnamon is the better choice for State Board of Education for District 10. OEA endorsed Rudduck in the spring (was there a deal??) long before Ohio’s election laws allowed any opponent to file (filing was in August 2014). Rudduck is a Kasich appointee. Kinnamon is a public school advocate, has 39 yrs of experience in education, served as a school superintendent, principal, coach, teacher, union member, and educational consultant. Kinnamon has received other endorsements, is well qualified to stand for the children and communities of southern Ohio, and has a stellar reputation. I think the people of southern Ohio agree that they want someone who will stand with them and fight for their children and someone who has no allegiances to Kasich. Kinnamon is hands on and has made a commitment to be hands on and visible to the people after his election. Kinnamon’s FB page is: https://www.facebook.com/kinnamonohioed

  • gregmild

    Kinnamon isn’t a bad choice and it’s good that we have two worthy candidates in that district. Rudduck’s experience, along with his extensive knowledge and research on the flawed school funding system in Ohio gives him the edge for influencing changes in those areas.

    Note: A.J. Wagner (registered D) also happened to be appointed by the current Governor to the State School Board.


    Greg, I implore you to look deeper. Rudduck has also been endorsed by State Rep Cliff Rosenberger, the conservatives leading candidate for the next Speaker of the Ohio House, among others who may not share most Ohioans views regarding the lack of accountability for the out of control charter schools who are taking valuable dollars away from public education in Ohio. http://www.plunderbund.com/2014/08/28/are-religious-charter-schools-the-new-norm-under-john-kasich/

  • gregmild

    I have edited the post to state that neither candidate is a “bad” choice. I still believe Rudduck’s deep knowledge of school funding is a valuable asset to influencing Board policy.

  • Think.

    Thank you for this important information, Greg. Many people don’t realize that Gov. Kasich has stacked the state school board with appointed members who will follow his ALEC public education agenda.
    Here’s a valuable source of information about current state school board members: http://www.thenewsoutlet.org/state-education-ohio/

  • Pacna

    I sent this through the “contact us” page, but I thought a shortened version of it in a comment might be useful as well.

    Michael Charney is not a good choice for the State Board of Education. The myth going around that Fowler (his opponent) is against public education stems from Michael Charney himself, who completely made it up. In one case he quoted her on things she never actually said. An article made the statement that “American history in most Ohio public schools, for example, starts at the Civil War, omitting lessons on the people and documents that founded the United States of America.” Even though the article did not say that Fowler even said anything remotely close to this, Charney used this as a direct quote from her. Details on that can be found here: http://chardoncaller.com/ld.pl?pg=articles/Charney. When I informed him that this was not actually a statement from Fowler, Charney deleted my comment and blocked me from his page. Charney has made a number of other false and misleading statements during his campaign, including that he would be the only classroom teacher on the board. Some of these statements were compiled here: http://chardoncaller.com/ld.pl?pg=articles/CharneyQuotes

    Furthermore, Charney has broken the law regarding reporting campaign contributions. He has reported the contributions late and has not even reported some contributions at all that he was required to. From the months that he has reported, only 3.5% of contributions to him came from the district he is in and significantly less than half came from within Ohio. 92% of Fowler’s contributions came from within the district, and 99.7% of her contributions came from within Ohio.

    Sarah Fowler voted against the Ohio Teacher Evaluation System and the Ohio Principal Evaluation System. She has been against the the massive amounts of standardized testing and has been against the Common Core standards, which give very little flexibility to teachers. I haven’t had any case yet where she did not answer a question I asked her. Charney has made some statements that make him seem alright, but I can’t get behind voting out a good board member just based off of a couple of Charney’s statements about himself. He has shown himself to be untrustworthy.

  • gregmild

    I’m curious about your “truth” that Fowler “voted against the Ohio Teacher Evaluation System and the Ohio Principal Evaluation System”. When, exactly, did she do this?
    Was she in the Ohio General Assembly when it was passed into law in the 2011 budget bill? No, not then.
    Or was she on the State Board of Education in November 2011 when the OTES Framework was first adopted by that body? No, not then either.

    Please let us know when she “voted against it” before OTES became law or the framework was formally adopted by the State Board so that we can avoid having any “myths going around” about her…


  • gregmild

    And those statements from Fowler that you call spin by Charney and the Network for Public Education (on your website) actually came from a group — Education Action Group Foundation — that was speaking of her favorably when they reported those statements and her philosophical views (http://eagnews.org/home-educated-former-egg-farmer-elected-to-represent-all-ed-options-on-ohio-state-board-of-education/), calling her win “an inspiring story to rejuvenate their spirits.”

  • Pacna

    It isn’t my website, but, yeah, the Education Action Group Foundation made those statements. But I don’t see how it is relevant that they support her; I also support her, but I think you would agree it would be wrong to take things I say and change them into Sarah Fowler quotes.

  • Approve.

  • Frack_Fighter

    I urge those who live in Geauga, Lake and Portage counties to vote
    for Michael Charney for state school board. Here is a link to his Web
    site http://charney2014.com/
    have spoken with his opponent, Sarah Fowler. She is not an acceptable
    candidate for this position. I asked her if she would support the
    teaching of Creationism or Intelligent Design in public school science
    classrooms. Her answer was that the Theory of Evolution is just a
    theory. I suspect that the teaching of Creationism is one of her
    goals. Also, she does not have a college education and she was home
    schooled. Why is someone like this running for a position on the state
    school board? It makes no sense!

  • Ed Bell

    I live and vote in district 7. Sarah Fowler has some zealous supporters in the district, but I am not one of them. Like the vast majority of the residents in District 7, I went to public schools. I am not confident that someone with no direct experience can make decisions about the public school environment. Sarah Fowler is a voice for the very small minority of students that are both home schooled and agree with her social agenda. The students that attend public schools need a voice on the State Board of Education.

    Your comments about Michael Charney’s ability to be an effective representative do not address his qualifications. What he may have said about Sarah Fowler and the campaign finance issues that you mention have nothing to do with Michael Charny’s ability to represent the students of District 7.

  • Pacna

    “I am not confident that someone with no direct experience can make decisions about the public school environment.”

    But are you confident that someone with no direct experience with homeschooling can make decisions about the homeschooling environment? Because the state board is involved with homeschooling regulations.

    That said, I agree that someone who is homeschooled should not be making all the decisions on what goes on in public schools. But she isn’t the only one on the board. I went to public schools too, but I do think it’s helpful to have people that have an outside perspective on the board. People that have been in the system their whole lives might not notice some things that might be able to be improved, just because that part of the system has been the same way for so long.

    Charney has lied, has been extremely unhelpful (by not responding to any questions I had and blocking me when I commented on a post), and has been generally incompetent during his campaign. I think his ability represent is very related to his ability to be an effective representative.

  • anastasjoy

    I already voted for Roslyn Painter-Goffi. I always warn people to educate themselves about the state school board race which people are not expecting to see on the ballot and where rightwingers with reassuring sounding names often run.


    Greg, Thank you for “somewhat” of a compromise in your edit. However, I must add that Plunderbund has made no contact with Kinnamon regarding his extensive knowledge on school funding and vast amounts of knowledge about a multitude of aspects regarding K-12 education in Ohio. I consider that to be a prerequisite prior to a recommendation. Additionally, I believe it is important to share that Kinnamon has been endorsed by the Ohio Democratic Party. Also, I believe it is important that everyone knows the facts regarding the Ohio Education Association’s endorsement of Kinnamon’s opponent, Rudduck. OEA made a highly unusual move in Feb/March 2014 to endorse Rudduck who Kasich appointed to the Board in the Fall of 2013. OEA’s endorsement came 5 months prior to Ohio law allowing other potential candidates to petition and to be put on the ballot in August 2014. Once a certified candidate, Kinnamon contacted OEA and asked to be interviewed for endorsement consideration. He was told that the decision had been made months prior and that Kasich’s appointee, Rudduck, had already been notified of their endorsement. Kinnamon asked OEA to be transparent to OEA’s membership and to the media that he was not given an opportunity to be considered. On Friday, OEA issued their endorsement communications. OEA WAS NOT TRANSPARENT! This is important on many levels. Ohio progressives have suffered many losses in the recent past and gerrymandering has snuffed out many potential quality candidates who would have otherwise put themselves into the fray. At a minimum, it is imperative that we take the time to reach out to progressive candidates who are willing to run for office in this State. I thank everyone of them for doing it. I hope that all of us will take actions to give confidence to all of those who will consider running in the future. And, my dear friends at Plunderbund, I ask once again that you reach out to these candidates prior to making recommendations to the voters.

  • Pacna

    EAG supporting her doesn’t change the fact that she didn’t say it. That would be like quoting something I said and saying Fowler said it.

  • Pacna

    “I am not confident that someone with no direct experience can make decisions about the public school environment.” But are you confident that someone with no direct experience with homeschooling can make decisions about homeschooling? Currently, the board does regulate homeschooling.

    Michael Charney’s ability to be an effective representative is related to Michael Charney’s ability to represent the students of District 7. I don’t see how it wouldn’t be. I want someone who will answer questions, won’t make up things about himself and his opponent, and understands the law. I haven’t seen this from Charney.

  • Ed Bell

    Hasty generalization is an informal fallacy of faulty generalization by reaching an inductive generalization based on insufficient evidence—essentially making a hasty conclusion without considering all of the variables. In statistics, it may involve basing broad conclusions regarding the statistics of a survey from a small sample group that fails to sufficiently represent an entire population. You used this form of faulty logic in your response to my post.

    First you took issue with my statement the Michael Charney was better prepared to represent the students of District 7, because Sarah Fowler had no experience in public education. Your counter point was that District 7 included homeschooled students and you assumed that an educator with 30 years of experience had never encountered a homeschooled student or home schooling issue. You did not consider my statement that Sarah Fowler is equipped to represent some homeschooled students, but that homeschooled students make up a small minority of the students in the district.

    You use the same faulty logic to support your opinion of Michael Charney. You say he lied because he does not share your interpretation of an article written about Sarah Fowler (see previous posts). You, also, disqualify him because, in your opinion, he failed to answer some of your questions. You discount that others have shared Michael Charney’s interpretation of the article, Michael Charney’s experience in education, and his positions on the issues. You are entitled to your opinion, but your arguments are flawed and poorly supported.

  • Pacna

    No, Ed, that wasn’t a fallacy. I applied exactly what you said to homeschooling. If you meant any experience, fine. But Sarah Fowler has also interacted with public school students, so your comment on Fowler would no longer work.

    I agree that we should have members who were public school teachers on the board. We already do. Right now the board is mainly made up of people that went to public schools, and many taught in them. An outside perspective is often useful – sometimes people that grow up in a system don’t notice some things that could be improved.

    No, Michael Charney lied because he used something that was not a quote and actually didn’t even say that Sarah Fowler said it in the original article, and said it was a direct quote from Sarah Fowler. You can’t seriously say that this is just a difference of interpretation. When I informed him that this was the case, he deleted my comment and blocked me from his page. And did you look at the table of statements by him? Many of those statements were clearly false.

    Yes, I would like a representative that actually answers questions. Not answering them doesn’t alone disqualify, but it’s clearly an important quality.

  • Pacna

    “Guest” above is me by the way.

  • Ed Bell

    The fallacy is equating the representational needs of less than 3 percent of the students with the representation due to 97 percent of the students in District 7. Home schooled students fall into two general groups: children of parents that are conservative Christians and children of liberal parents that want to opt out of a regimented educational system. Sarah Fowler does not represent these two groups equally.

  • Frack Attack

    The Dodd Amendment to the Operating Standards would have made it a violation of the Operating Standards to fire a teacher because he or she is gay. Ron Rudduck voted against that amendment, and Plunderbund supports him anyway, because he knows a lot about school funding? Doesn’t sound right.

  • Pacna

    You can represent someone without having done the exact same things in life. Only a small percentage of people were teachers too, but that doesn’t mean Charney wouldn’t be able to represent me. Her being home schooled should not disqualify her from public office. I actually think that experience might be useful to have on the board, since everyone else went to a traditional school on the board.

  • Bob Crawford

    Common Core will cost us a whole generation of students. Worst thing ever to happen in education. We need Common Core out and vouchers IN for ALL students and families so we can have CHOICE and freedom in education. Let’s start with repeal of Common Core and vote out every politician who supports Common Core.

  • Pamela Sneary Spadaro

    Do you happen to have one of these done for 2016?

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