State Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) announced her support today for bipartisan legislation aimed at repealing and replacing House Bill (HB) 70, known as the “Youngstown Plan.” Lepore-Hagan added her support as a cosponsor to Rep. Joe Miller (D-Amherst) and Rep. Don Jones’ (R-Nottingham Township) legislation that would terminate Academic Distress Commissions, restore local control over public schools and move to a building-based, bottom-up reform model.
“This legislation offers a much-needed opportunity to end the failing system of Academic Distress Commissions and restore our district’s control to a democratically elected school board,” said Lepore-Hagan. “We also need an evidence-based turnaround model that allows children and teachers to truly have the opportunity they need to succeed. My colleagues on both sides of the aisle have recognized the ineffectiveness of HB 70 in Youngstown, Lorain and East Cleveland and the need to refocus on public education in the wake of charter school scandals. The Youngstown City School District has suffered under our former governor’s disastrous plan for too long, and I look forward to finally passing a real solution.”
The original, bipartisan version of the Youngstown Plan included provisions for community input and guidelines on which schools qualified for transition to a community learning center. Following a 92-6 passage from the House, a Kasich-backed substitute bill replaced this legislation, eliminating community input and installing a CEO with sweeping powers over the district. The new bill would repeal HB 70 and include a return to wraparound student support services and the community learning center model.
Following its introduction, the HB 70 repeal and replace will move to the House Primary and Secondary Education Committee for consideration.