What is the Climate, Ohio?

What is the Climate, Ohio?

By Julie Page

COLUMBUS, OH — During the 135th General Assembly, Senator Cirino introduced Senate Bill 83. This bill has been titled The Ohio Higher Education Enhancement Act. It proposes to amend some current laws and add new sections that govern higher education within Ohio. One of these proposals is the policing of higher education courses focused on ‘politically controversial’ topics, including but not limited to climate change.

Part of the policing of climate change teachings is the requirement that higher education courses must remain neutral. The universities may not “endorse, oppose, comment, or take action, as an institution, on the public policy controversies”. These controversies of course include climate change and ways to help prevent and slow its effects. 

Universities throughout Ohio will feel the effect of this bill if it is passed. Many courses currently teach the basics of climate change and its main causes and problems. Miami University Assistant Lecturer, Jill Page, is one of the people who discusses climate change during her classes. 

“I present students with scientific data and allow them to draw their own conclusions. I present data for human-induced climate change and warming due to natural causes” Jill Page said. Allowing students to draw their own conclusions is allowed under Senate Bill 83, the bill states that faculty and staff should even encourage students to reach conclusions themselves. “But it makes me nervous that my teaching could come under scrutiny because I even discuss the issues at all” stated Jill Page. 

As of April 2023, Senate Bill 83 has yet to be passed by the senate. Even then, Mike DeWine, Ohio’s governor, still must sign the act into law in order to police these higher education courses. 

The Ohio 135th General Assembly next meets on May 3, 2023

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