Youngstown school board agrees on collaboration with the ADC

By William K. Alcorn


Most members of the Youngstown schools board agree they should collaborate with the Academic Distress Commission in an effort to get what information they can to help the troubled school district’s students.

They disagreed, however, at Tuesday’s board meeting on how to communicate with the commission and the new CEO, Justin Jennings.

The disconnect was revealed when board member Dario Hunter proffered a motion to meet monthly with the ADC.

The ADC is state appointed to oversee schools that are in academic emergency. The commission hired Jennings to run the district’s day-to-day operations. He replaces the first CEO, Krish Mohip.

“I have disagreements with the commission, but we need to communicate,” Hunter said.

But Hunter’s motion was shot down by a motion to table by board member Ronald Shadd. A second attempt by Hunter to take his motion off the table and bring it to a vote also failed.

In arguing for his motion, Hunter said the board needs to take this opportunity to get information from any source possible.

Board member Jackie Adair said she is willing to work with Jennings and the ADC “to try and get us out of the bad situation we’re in.”

Shadd, however, and other board members said Jennings has told them he would “work with us” and keep the board informed about the school district and the commission’s meetings.

“My concern is, what if the ADC doesn’t work? We could lose our schools. We don’t know what’s going to happen in the future. We’ll probably be chartered out. I think that is what the state wanted in the first place,” said Brenda Kimble, board president.

“I hope we can all work together for our children ... to pull them out of the situation they are in. I want what’s best for our children,” she added.

Whatever happens will be soon.

School for the majority of students begins Tuesday, and the Youngstown Rayen Early College High School started Monday, said Superintendent Joseph Meranto.

Teachers reported today, and Jennings is bringing the staff together for a convocation at which he is expected to talk about the upcoming school year and urge everybody to work together, Meranto said.

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