State Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) this week pledged to continue her legislative efforts to addresses concerns from families and educators following the state takeover of the Youngstown City Schools. Rep. Lepore-Hagan plans to reintroduce House Bill (HB) 379, her legislation to increase community input into the “Youngstown Plan,” next year after the bill was only granted a single hearing during this General Assembly.
“Students, parents and teachers deserve transparency and accountability within our local school system,” Lepore-Hagan said. “This legislation will help ensure a more community-based approach to improving our school system.”
In June 2015, the Republican-controlled legislature fast-tracked a last-minute proposal crafted behind closed doors to restructure the Youngstown City School system. The so-called “Youngstown Plan” appointed an Academic Distress Commission to hire a CEO to “exercise complete operational, managerial and instructional control of the district.” The new CEO has the authority to replace administrators and staff, make staff reductions, set class sizes, determine curriculum and select instruction materials.
Lepore-Hagan’s legislation addresses many of the most controversial aspects of the so-called “Youngstown plan” by including provisions to involve the community in the CEO’s improvement plan, embrace the Community Learning Center education model, support educators and staff, and ensure transparency and accountability with the new CEO and district improvement plans.
HB 379 served as companion legislation to Senate Minority Leader Joe Schiavoni’s Senate Bill 230.