Republican state representative Andrew Brenner - the co-chairman of the House Education Committee - has apologized after referring to public education as "socialism."
"I recently made some comments in an online forum that were interpreted as negative commentary on public education," said Brenner. "To the people whom have been offended by my comments, I apologize."
Brenner, who represents Powell, had authored a blog on his wife's website titled, "Public Education in America is socialism, what is the solution?"
In the post, Brenner wrote: "Socialism, defined on Wikipedia, 'is a social and economic system characterized by social ownership of the means of production and co-operative management of the economy.' That seems to summarize our primary education system."
Brenner’s comments generated controversy and heated debate between those who support public education and tea party supporters.
Before apologizing, Brenner had responded to those who had criticized his views: "I'm guessing those people had a public education."
Brenner now says he understands how his comments could be viewed unfavorably, although he never specifically reverses his view that public education is socialism.
"I support a quality education, and I will continue to promote and support policies I think best represent the people of Delaware County," said Brenner.
Republican House Speaker William Batchelder yesterday distanced himself from Brenner's remarks saying the GOP caucus supported public education.
Brenner faces Democratic opponent David Hogan in November.
Brenner's blog appeared on the same website where an article suggesting the Sandy Hook shooting was a hoax - to advance tighter gun control regulations - was posted.
That article has since been removed.