Mohip defends his Citizens Coalition
By Amanda Tonoli
Community input goes a long way in Youngstown City Schools, said CEO Krish Mohip during his Wednesday evening CEO Update Meeting.
Examples of community input in action include the new neighborhood schools reconfiguration, a focus on school sports and school pride, and bringing back East High’s mascot, the Golden Bears.
“We are all putting kids first, and everything we do is for our children,” Mohip said.
He showcased one of his most recent community-focused creations, the CEO’s Citizens Coalition.
The coalition consists of four groups of 12 or 14 community members who provide input to the CEO on various education matters.
Mohip said despite what some think, the coalition is not meant to take away from the board of education, but to act in addition to the board.
“In a city of more than 65,000 people we need more than seven people,” Mohip said at the Wednesday meeting. “We will take as much input as we can. The Citizens Coalition is the right thing to do.”
Board member Jackie Adair said at the Sept. 12 meeting that Mohip’s establishment of the CEO’s Citizens Coalition is the most outrageous action he has taken since he arrived in 2016.
“I have my concerns and deep-seated outrage about another veiled attempt by the CEO to exclude the duly elected members of this board from all things relevant to the operation of this district,” she said.
Another community-focused platform both Mohip and Chief Information Officer John LaPlante promoted was “Let’s Talk,” found at youngstown.k12.oh.us/LetsTalk.aspx.
“If you have any questions whatsoever for any of us in the district, please visit that page and type it out,” LaPlante said. “You can be anonymous if you want –you don’t have to tell us who you are. Just realize if you don’t tell us who you are we cannot get back in touch with you. If it’s just something you want to let us know, you can certainly be anonymous.”
In other business, LaPlante announced an update with 1:1 Initiative – putting a Google Chromebook in the hands of every student in the district.
The student headcount, which has yet to be released, was more than the district planned for, and about 100 more Chromebooks have to be ordered, LaPlante said.
“There are a lot of extra kids we weren’t planning for, but that’s good news to us,” he said.
Chromebooks cost between $200 and $300.