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Democratic lawmakers reintroduce legislation to audit ADC districts

Call for financial accountability from district CEOs
February 11, 2021
Joseph A. Miller III News

COLUMBUS- State Reps. Joe Miller (D-Amherst) and Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) today announced the reintroduction of legislation that would require one-time performance audits of school districts with a current Academic Distress Commission (ADC). This legislation was formerly House Bill (HB) 529 in the 133rd General Assembly, which received one hearing in the House Primary & Secondary Education Committee.

“This model of a district CEO and Academic Distress Commission (ADC) with absolute power and no accountability has created an easy pathway for corruption,” said Rep. Miller. “We owe it to our teachers, parents, and taxpayers across the state to get to the bottom of this issue and determine once and for all if the state takeover plan that put in place ADCs has been an abject failure and should be repealed. A performance audit by the Ohio Auditor will bring us closer to this answer.”

“We are introducing this legislation because the unelected, unaccountable Academic Distress Commissions and appointed CEOs in Youngstown, Lorain, and East Cleveland exercise unilateral control over tens of millions of taxpayer dollars. The performance audits mandated by the bill will enable parents, teachers, residents, elected officials, and the public at-large to evaluate whether those dollars are being used effectively. Most importantly, we will be able to determine if our teachers and kids are receiving the resources and support they need to achieve and succeed. The time to impose transparency and scrutiny on this failed system has arrived,” said Rep. Lepore-Hagan.

The bill will now be sent to the House Rules and Reference Committee, where it will receive a committee assignment and a new bill number.