Youngstown Schools Stakeholders discuss next steps for district

Staff report


Youngstown City Schools stakeholders had a positive discussion about the next steps for the district, one said.

State Sen. Joe Schiavoni of Boardman, D-33rd, a candidate for Ohio governor, was among those attending the private meeting Friday.

“It was just a lot of conversation from everyone about how to focus on the needs of children in Youngstown,” he said.

Despite the opinions regarding House Bill 70, Schiavoni said he was impressed by the positive and productive discussion that took place.

House Bill 70, commonly referred to as the Youngstown Plan and signed into law by Gov. John Kasich in July 2015, enabled a state-appointed academic distress commission to hire a CEO – Krish Mohip – to lead the Youngstown School District. The bill gives Mohip complete operational, managerial and instructional control, relegating the school board to an advisory function.

Youngstown is the first school district in Ohio to fall under the auspices of HB 70.

“Regardless of how much people hate the bill – like me – I never want kids to fail because I want to make a point about a bill,” Schiavoni said.

Academic Distress Commission President Brian Ben- yo would not provide specific details as to what was discussed in the meeting.

“It was not open to the public and is not for public consumption,” he said.

Some of those in attendance were state Reps. Michele Lepore-Hagan of Youngstown, D-58th, and John Boccieri of Poland, D-59th; Mohip; Ohio Education Association representatives; Ohio gubernatorial candidate Dennis Kucinich; Youngstown Education Association teachers union leadership members; and district service providers.

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