State Rep. Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo) today issued the following statement in response to the public records released by the Ohio Department of Education relating to the illegal charter school data scrubbing done by David Hansen, Gov. Kasich’s campaign manager’s husband.
“The fact remains: Superintendent Dick Ross cannot be trusted. He publicly lied* to state school board members, community leaders and journalists about the secret state takeover of Youngstown City schools, and it seems highly unlikely – if not impossible – that he had no knowledge of the charter school data scrubbing that happened on his watch.
“The governor and Mr. Ross have had ample time to get their story straight, likely with the help of top presidential campaign staff, including Mr. Hansen’s wife, Gov. Kasich’s presidential campaign manager. Public records show there were intentional efforts to suppress the creation of public documents relating to the scrubbing – a further indication of the culture of corruption that plagues Ohio’s education system.
“The complete lack of any public records from Mr. Ross shows that, at best he is wildly incompetent – or worse – he is deeply involved. Even Mr. Ross, himself, admits his management was negligent in this case. The charter industry stood to gain plenty of taxpayer dollars from this illegal scrubbing, and the buck stops with Mr. Ross.
“It is past time for Mr. Ross to step down, but more importantly I repeat my numerous calls for an outside, independent investigation. Where are the guns and badges? Our children’s futures hang in the balance.”
Gongwer News Service
Ed Board Members Criticize Swift Approval Of Academic Distress Commission Changes
July 14, 2015
“Mr. Ross said he didn't detail the proposal, which he supports, because it wasn't something he had drafted. "If it had been my proposal, I would have done that," he said. "As much as I would like to own these ideas, I think this was a thoughtful effort at the Youngstown level to deal with issues that I knew had been there that and the superintendent at that time knew had been there," Mr. Ross continued. While the superintendent was contacted by those working on the proposal to weigh in on it, he said he did not know that they had submitted it for legislative consideration.”
Cleveland Plain Dealer
“State Superintendent Richard Ross wasn't just quiet about the surprise plan for state control of the Youngstown schools - he had his staff draft it while telling others to keep it secret…Ross had told the state board shortly after the plan was passed into law that he never told the board about the plan because it wasn't his.
"It came from Youngstown," Ross told the board. "I provided assistance.”
He told the board that a Youngstown group … calling itself the "cabinet" wrote the plans, and he just offered suggestions. And Ross said he doesn't know who had the legal language written to make the plan into law. But Ross and the the (sic) Ohio Department of Education did more than just advise the "cabinet," according to the group's minutes. Minutes of the group's May 21 meeting show that Ross had ODE policy analysts Kevin Duff and Buddy Harris work on the plans and present them to the panel, not just respond to them and offer advice.”