Democratic Lawmakers, Education Coalition Urge Suspension Of State Takeovers Of Public Schools
Say pending Supreme Court appeal of HB 70, Youngstown Plan disaster highlights need to stop state takeovers
Posted November 28, 2018 by Minority Caucus
 
 

State Reps. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown), Kent Smith (D-Euclid), and Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo) today joined Community Leadership Coalition on Education (CLCE) members during their legislative advocacy day urging the passage of House Bill (HB) 626, legislation to halt state takeover of public schools. CLCE is a group of advocates from Youngstown, Lorain, East Cleveland, and other communities around Ohio whose local school districts are or may soon be subject to state takeover as implemented under HB 70.


“HB 70 neutered the duly-elected school board members and gave an autocratic, unaccountable, appointed CEO total control over every facet of the system,” said Lepore-Hagan. “The Youngstown Plan has been a failure and a disaster, but it seems Gov. Kasich and the anti-public school zealots who created this debacle don’t use objective criteria to evaluate what has happened.”


Under current law, school districts that receive three consecutive “F” ratings from the Ohio Department of Education are placed under an Academic Distress Commission (ADC) where an appointed CEO is given sweeping control over the district. Youngstown City School District and Lorain City Schools have been placed under an ADC’s control, while East Cleveland, Warrensville Heights and Trotwood schools remain under threat.


“The truth is this is a power grab by profit-motivated privateers who have no real interest in educating Ohio's vulnerable children,” said Rep. Fedor, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Education and Career Readiness. “As we’ve seen in Youngstown, the state takeover model does not work. It’s simply a Trojan horse.”


CLCE’s legislative day of advocacy comes just weeks after the Ohio Supreme Court announced it would hear an appeal of HB 70.


“Every Ohio child has the potential to change the world, but Columbus politicians and the incoming governor need to get serious about investing in their futures,” said Smith. “The state takeover of a school district is unnecessary and has been proven unsuccessful in Ohio. Statehouse Republicans need to abandon their ‘Columbus-knows-best’ model and stop shortchanging our kids as it continues to empower unsuccessful, unproven, unaccountable bureaucrats instead of local leaders who know their community best.”


HB 626 is in the House Education and Career Readiness Committee awaiting its first hearing.

 
 
 
  
Featured Posts

Dems Push To Expand Ohioans' Pathway To American Dream

 

House Democratic Leader Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron) today joined House Dem lawmakers to discuss their legislative framework to give Ohioans greater access to the tools they need to live the American Dream, including plans to strengthen public education, grow wages and expand opportunity for working people and families across Ohio. 



 
 

Dem Lawmakers Celebrate The Passage Of The PRO Act

 

State Reps. H. Gilson Blair (D-Weathersfield) and Brigid Kelly (D-Cincinnati) celebrated the U.S. House of Representatives’ passage of the PRO Act, H.R. 2474 today, which would protect workers’ right to organize. The bill would give millions of workers additional protections to organize and negotiate for better pay, better benefits and safer working conditions. 



 
 

Reps. Russo And Lightbody Introduce Legislation To Protect Safe Drinking Water For Ohio's Families

 

State Reps. Allison Russo (D- Upper Arlington) and Mary Lightbody (D-Westerville) today announced the introduction of The Safe Drinking Water Act to guarantee safe drinking water in Ohio.  The bill provides for state-level standards for drinking water to limit known toxics and protect residents from harm. 



 
 

Franklin County House Dems Call On Secretary Of State To Break Tie

 

A group of Columbus-area House Democratic lawmakers today sent a letter to Secretary of State Frank LaRose calling on him to break the tie vote at the Franklin County Board of Elections over whether to continue a longstanding public information campaign to provide accurate voting information to Franklin County residents. Republican Board of Elections members oppose providing this information to voters. The Secretary refused to break the tie despite state law requiring it. See the letter below.