Y'town, Lorain school board members take battle against HB 70 to Columbus


School board members from Youngstown united with those from Lorain in Columbus today to oppose House Bill 70.

The boards were among a group that traveled to Columbus to talk to Ohio legislators about how they believe HB 70 is ruining public education.

Commonly referred to as the Youngstown Plan, it was signed into law by Gov. John Kasich in July 2015. It allowed Youngstown CEO Krish Mohip and Lorain CEO David Hardy to be put in place. State-appointed academic distress commissions hired the CEOs.

In Youngstown, Mohip has operational, managerial and instructional control. HB 70 put the locally elected board into an advisory capacity.

In related action tonight, state Reps. John Boccieri of Poland, D-59th, and Michele Lepore-Hagan of Youngstown, D-58th, said in a press release an amendment was added to Senate Bill 216 to place a moratorium on the creation of academic distress commissions across the state. The amendment does not affect Youngstown City Schools, but would stop further takeovers of public schools across the state.

Reached by phone, Boccieri explained that SB 216 aims to take bureaucracy out of public education.

During today’s gathering, Youngstown board President Brenda Kimble contended that more than 22 school districts in Ohio are in jeopardy of coming under HB 70, including Trotwood Madison, Warrensville Heights and East Cleveland.

Youngstown board member Tina Cvetkovich said during the gathering: “Maybe things can turn around for all of us [school boards], but the best interest is not being done for our children,” she said.

Read more about the matter in Thursday's Vindicator or on Vindy.com.