One school district: two meetings
By Amanda Tonoli
One meeting has become two.
Youngstown City Schools CEO Krish Mohip and board of education President Brenda Kimble announced that the board’s monthly meetings will be separate from Mohip’s CEO meeting, with Mohip hosting his session after the board’s.
This decision comes in response to the Oct. 25 meeting when three board members left after a nearly 30-minute argument with Mohip about who controls the agenda.
“Mr. Mohip has total control of this district, anything done with business, [human resources], policy, and anything except treasury is his business to do,” Kimble said. “[Mohip] has requested to have his own meeting in which he will bring those things forth.”
Mohip said he believes the board needs direction and he wants to help guide it to a point where it is “functioning appropriately.”
“I will not set [the board’s] agenda, but I will also not bring items to the board for approval or resolution, as it is not required by the state,” he said. “I want to make it clear that I am not delegating any power or any authority to the board that is branded to me.”
Mohip and Kimble agreed they still want to work toward having a more successful collaborative meeting, as focus is being lost in the shuffle.
“Our focus is on our students in this district,” Kimble said.
During the board’s meeting, members spent 25 minutes arguing once again about meeting-minute semantics.
Parent Jakeista Cundiff expressed discontent with the continued lack of communication regarding the time and date of board meetings, as well as reducing the meetings from weekly to monthly.
“It’s another avenue cut off for parents,” she said.
Board member Dario Hunter also had a problem with communication within the district.
“I would like [Mohip] to give some explanation as to how one of the more vocal press critics of the district ended up becoming a paid employee of the district,” he said.
Hunter was referring to former Vindicator education reporter Denise Dick, who now works as a spokeswoman for the district.
Mohip stated Dick is not employed by the district, but by the Mahoning County Educational Service Center, which assigned her to Youngstown.
After the board’s meeting, Mohip gave a public update about new processes being implemented in fulfillment of The Youngstown Plan, including positive behavioral and intervention support for students with poor behavior, professional development plans and evaluations for teachers, and helping the whole student by providing extra opportunities to improve. The new afterschool program allows students three extra hours after school Monday through Thursday to work on math and reading skills.