DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — The nominee to head the state’s newest education department has a dicey history in Ohio.
On Thursday, Gov. Mike DeWine announced the nomination of Stephen Dackin, a University of Dayton graduate, to lead the Ohio Department of Education and Workforce as director.
Dackin has a controversial history in working within the state level of Ohio.
In 2019, DeWine appointed Dackin to the Ohio State Board of Education. He was reappointed by the governor in 2020 to a second term. He later decided to announce his resignation from the position prior to the conclusion of his term on Feb. 25, 2022.
On May 23, 2022, Dackin assumed the superintendent position for the Ohio Department of Education. Eleven days later, he resigned from the position on June 3, 2022, due to concerns regarding his hiring.
Settlement documents from 2022 show Dackin was accused of “potential ethics violations,” leading to an investigation by the Ohio Ethics Commission. Dackin allegedly asked the Ohio Department of Education about becoming the next superintendent before resigning from his position.
As a part of the settlement, Dackin had to attend three more hours of ethics training. He was not allowed to reapply for the position of State Superintendent of Public Instruction until Feb. 26, 2023, according to documents.
Documents continue to say that if any additional allegations of ethics violations “warranted by facts” are brought to the ethics commission or prosecutor’s office, they will recommend prosecution “to the full extent of the law.”
Despite the nominee’s past history related to the field of education, the governor and organizations have released statements which can be read below.
Steve Dackin has a broad base of experience that will benefit Ohio’s continued efforts to create a transformative education system that provides the resources and support for students and serves as a pipeline of talented young people to Ohio employers, colleges, universities, and career and technical education centers, helping every Ohioan live up to their God-given potential. I look forward to working with Steve in this new role once confirmed by the Ohio Senate.”Gov. Mike DeWine
Steve has put students first throughout his career. His work on closing achievement gaps, advancing career pathways, and supporting Ohio families through high quality educational choices make him an inspired choice to be the first director of DEW. School Choice Ohio looks forward to working with him and Governor DeWine to put Ohio students on the path to success and prosperity.Eric “Yitz” Frank, president of School Choice Ohio
Jessica Voltolini has been the interim director of the department.
Dackin has not yet been assigned the position. The Ohio Senate has to confirm the director of the department before anyone takes the position.