COLUMBUS - Today, State Rep. Michele Lepore Hagan (D-Youngstown) and over 20 elected officials and community leaders sent a letter to Gov. Mike DeWine calling on him to dissolve the unaccountable Academic Distress Commission (ADCs) and restore local control to Youngstown Public Schools.

Lepore-Hagan explained that with the looming threat of widespread shutdowns, the time to end the failed ADC experiment has arrived.  “We simply cannot maroon Youngstown’s children in this fatally flawed system,” said Lepore-Hagan. “This could well be our last opportunity to free our kids before the next school year begins. We must act now.”

Lepore-Hagan stressed that the letter she circulated among local leaders reflects the will of the people. “This letter is signed by people who are passionate about children and want them to have the opportunity to achieve, succeed and reach their full potentials,” said Lepore-Hagan. “We know restoring local control is the critical first step that will put us on the path to achieving that goal.”

While a rapid turnaround is needed, there is not much work left to be done. The mechanism for repealing the Academic Distress Commission exists. Senate Bill (SB) 89, which has been assigned to conference committee, includes a House-sponsored amendment that ends the Academic Distress Commission. Passing SB 89 with the amendment would thus dissolve the ADC. 

“Like the entire state and nation, the Youngstown Schools are in crisis. We’re working together to deal with the COVID-19 emergency,” Lepore-Hagan said. “In these difficult times, the need to restore local control is more urgent than ever. This letter is a demonstration of our unified community and our spirit of cooperation.”

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