Youngstown board discusses plan to retake control of schools

Staff report


Youngstown school board discussed updates in the district and posited a question as to what would happen should its legal battle to overturn House Bill 70 end successfully.

“What plans are we putting in place for when we win?” asked board member Jackie Adair at Tuesday’s board meeting. “We should be working on this now. The time we have must be used to work on plans for any of the numerous issues facing children or the taxpayers in this city.”

HB 70, also referred to as the Youngstown Plan, was signed into law by Gov. John Kasich in July 2015. It enabled a state-appointed academic distress commission to hire CEO Krish Mohip to lead the district. The bill gives Mohip complete operational, managerial and instructional control.

Mohip refers to the elected board of education as an “advisory panel.

The Youngstown board is awaiting the Ohio Supreme Court to hear its case.

The board first filed an injunction to stop HB 70 from taking effect because it would do irreparable damage, according to court records. The law went forward, however, and the school board now has challenged its legality. The Ohio Supreme Court agreed to hear the case Oct. 24.

Meanwhile, the Ohio School Boards Association, Canton, and Cleveland school boards filed a friend of the court brief Friday on behalf of the Youngstown board’s legal battle against HB 70.

A friend of the court brief is a court filing written in support of another party’s contention. Labor unions filed the brief with the supreme court.