Governor says he wants to help fix city schools

Governor says he wants to help fix city schools

Kasich says he wants to help fix city schools


Gov. John Kasich says he wants to help fix the city schools, but the superintendent believes the district already has a plan for progress.

“I want to make an offer,” Kasich said Monday during a dedication ceremony for the Hickory Bend gathering system and processing plant in New Middletown. “We want to help to fix the Youngstown City Schools. If you bring us a plan and a program we will help you — just as we did in Cleveland with the mayor, the school board, union and city officials. We will help you to design a program and make things better.”

Superintendent Connie Hathorn said he hasn’t spoken to the governor.

“We have a plan in place here,” he said. “The ADC [academic distress commission] was appointed by the state superintendent. We’re going to keep moving forward implementing the plan we have.”

The Youngstown City Schools Academic Distress Commission was appointed in 2010 after the city school district failed to meet adequate yearly progress for four consecutive years on the state report card. The commission developed an academic recovery plan, which has been updated annually, to try to steer the district out of academic difficulty.

City officials in Cleveland and Columbus previously approached Kasich about those cities’ mayors being able to sponsor charter schools. Those required voter approval. When he signed the legislation last July, allowing Columbus’s mayor to sponsor charter schools, he said other districts could also ask legislators for change in their schools and mentioned Youngstown.

“Both in Cleveland and in Columbus, they tied this to a levy and Youngstown is nowhere near a levy,” said Adrienne O’Neill, chairwoman of the academic distress commission.

She said she hasn’t spoken to Kasich either.

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