State Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) today responded to the introduction of a substitute version of House Bill (HB) 154 in the Ohio Senate, a version that will not address current Academic Distress Commissions or the removal of school board members under the provisions of HB 70, the so-called “Youngstown Plan.” 

“I’m disappointed that the Senate failed to recognize a bipartisan effort to fix our schools. For years we’ve seen that a top-down approach to educating Youngstown’s children is not working,” said Rep. Lepore-Hagan. “HB 70 is an absolute failure. We need to go in a new direction. We need an education strategy that will actually help our children.” 

The House Passed version of HB 154, introduced by State Reps. Joe Miller (D-Lorain) and Don Jones (R-Freeport), calls for the elimination of current academic distress commissions and appointed CEOs. Current Youngstown School Board Member Ronald Shadd and Board President Brenda Kimble testified in Columbus along with Pastor Kenneth Simon of the Community Leadership Coalition on Education, noting the substitute bill’s failure to restore control to local districts.

“I urge the Senate and my House colleagues to reject this version of HB 154,” said Rep. Lepore-Hagan. “If it passes, I urge Governor DeWine to veto it.” 

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