Smith, Fedor Push For Moratorium On Controversial State Takeovers Of Local Schools
Introduce bill to prevent new academic distress commissions
April 27, 2018
 
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State Reps. Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo) and Kent Smith (D-Euclid) today introduced legislation to block the state from taking over additional local school districts and privatizing local school boards. The proposed moratorium follows the controversial state takeovers of Youngstown City Schools and Lorain City Schools, where the heavy-handed approach has failed to produce any meaningful improvement or results.


“Ohio needs to invest in our kids and families, not wrestle control away from democratically elected leaders,” said Rep. Smith. “Local leaders have known what is best for their kids for a long time. It is state government that needs to change its approach.”


Under the proposed moratorium, state report card grades given prior to or under the moratorium would not ultimately affect a school’s chance for state takeover and school board privatization in the future. The ban on state takeovers, or so-called “academic distress commissions,” would last three years, through 2021.


“The takeovers in Youngstown and Lorain have had atrocious results but there are models out there that work,” said Rep. Fedor. “This moratorium will give us time to find the ways that will actually improve schools for our students and communities.”


Following the passage of amended House Bill 70 in the 131st General Assembly, the structure of academic distress commissions was changed to fast track a state takeover of local school districts when they receive three consecutive failing state report card grades. Under the new law, the schools are put under a state-run academic distress commission instead of a publicly elected board and have a CEO installed to run the school.


The lawmakers believe their ban would give lawmakers more time to find a real solution rather trapping more districts and students in another failing model for public education. 

 
 
 
  
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Smith, Fedor Push For Moratorium On Controversial State Takeovers Of Local Schools

 

State Reps. Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo) and Kent Smith (D-Euclid) today introduced legislation to block the state from taking over additional local school districts and privatizing local school boards. The proposed moratorium follows the controversial state takeovers of Youngstown City Schools and Lorain City Schools, where the heavy-handed approach has failed to produce any meaningful improvement or results.



 
 

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Cleveland-area Lawmakers Say Ohio Could "amp Up" Economic Growth Through Music Industry

 

State Reps. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) and Sarah LaTourette (R-Bainbridge) today announced a bi-partisan effort to create jobs and drive economic growth by making Ohio a destination for the recording industry. The Ohio Sound Recording Investor Tax Credit, also known as OhioSounds, will work to attract more of the almost $7 billion in annual music industry revenue to the state. 

“Ohio is the birthplace of legendary musicians, unforgettable songs and ‘Rock N’ Roll’,” said Rep. Smith. “OhioSounds honors our proud legacy and works to cultivate a winning model moving forward. Ohio can become a destination for musicians, producers and industry leaders who will create jobs and strengthen our local economies. The OhioSounds tax credit will solidify our commitment to Ohio’s musical heritage and create new music that will provide the soundtrack to our lives.”

“Much like the Ohio film tax credit, this legislation seeks to incentivize investment in Ohio and create jobs in a dynamic industry,” Representative LaTourette stated. “Northeast Ohio has seen quite an investment in response to the film tax credit, with major motion pictures filmed on the streets of Cleveland and throughout our region. Given our history as the birthplace of Rock n’ Roll, it just makes sense to extend that incentive to the music industry and embrace our heritage as musical innovators.”