Skip to main content
State Seal State Seal State Seal
Home Button Home Button Home Button
 
 

Rep. Lepore-Hagan praises OSBA resolution against Youngstown City Schools takeover

August 4, 2015
Democrat Newsroom

State Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) today praised the Board of Trustees of the Ohio School Boards Association (OSBA) for its resolution condemning the fast-track takeover of the Youngstown City Schools. The resolution calls on the members of the Ohio General Assembly, the State Board of Education, and Governor Kasich to seek changes to the law that would “preserve and enhance democracy and local control.”

“I commend the Ohio School Boards Association for standing up for Ohio’s public schools,” Lepore-Hagan said. “The last-minute amendment to HB 70 was an unprecedented attack on local control and a brazen attempt to push students out of the Youngstown City Schools and into failing, for-profit charter schools. I hope my colleagues in the General Assembly, the State Board of Education and the governor will heed the board’s resolution and move to restore local control to the community.”

Representative Lepore-Hagan and Senate Minority Leader Joe Schiavoni (D-Boardman) have hosted a public town hall and other meetings with parents, teachers, and community leaders in Youngstown to gather the community’s input as to how to best respond to the Columbus-based takeover of the city school system.

“The people that Senator Schiavoni and I have met with and spoken to are committed to ensuring that the children of Youngstown have access to a high quality publiceducation that will prepare them for success in the future,” Lepore-Hagan said. “No one believes that destroying our school system will achieve that goal. That is why we will continue to work to reverse the dangerous course the governor and the Republican majorities in the House and Senate have charted for our schools and our community.”   

Text of the resolution can be seen below:

WHEREAS, public schools have been the hallmark of the American education system and the

foundation of the nation’s democracy; and

WHEREAS, Ohio's schools have traditionally been governed by an elected board of education, the

members of which have been chosen by their fellow community members to make sound decisions

concerning the education of the community’s children and to determine the most effective use of local

tax dollars in pursuit of that goal; and

WHEREAS, the 2010 appointment of an academic distress commission in the Youngstown City

Schools and the recent restructuring of that commission to function under a CEO appointed by

individuals who may reside outside the Youngstown community — as opposed to being named by

those who best know that community — has set aside the ability of the elected board of education to

exercise its governing authority; and

WHEREAS, those restructuring changes were contained in a last-minute amendment to House Bill 70,

which the Ohio General Assembly passed without any serious input from the Youngstown City Board

of Education or the Youngstown community; and

WHEREAS, the adoption of this amendment was completed by Columbus-based legislators with little

or no connection to the Youngstown community and without any genuine effort to engage those most

affected by the action; and

WHEREAS, this legislation lays the groundwork for the same restructuring changes to take place in

other districts across the state

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that we, the Board of Trustees of the Ohio School Boards

Association, representing boards of education across Ohio and the children they serve, do object and

protest the manner in which this draconian legislation was passed and question how the district reforms

and improvements can be achieved without involving and engaging the elected board of education and

the Youngstown community; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we ask the state superintendent of public instruction, as the

manager of the academic distress commission process, to take appropriate steps to engage the elected

board of education and community in the school improvement process prior to appointment of the new

CEO; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we implore members of the Ohio General Assembly, the State

Board of Education, and Governor John R. Kasich to seek amendments to House Bill 70 and the

academic distress commission procedures that will preserve and enhance democracy and local control;

and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that such amendments should embrace the original intent of House

Bill 70: fostering community engagement and collaboration to create community learning centers that

will better serve Youngstown’s children and families; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that all Ohio boards of education adopt this resolution and forward

said resolution to the governor, the members of the Ohio General Assembly, the State Board of

Education and the state superintendent of public instruction.