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Youngstown school board hearing set today

YOUNGSTOWN — A hearing on a temporary restraining order to bar the Youngstown mayor from naming a new five-person school board will be 1:30 p.m. today in the courtroom of Judge Scott Krichbaum.

Visiting Judge Thomas Pokorny of Cuyahoga County will hear the case.

The Youngstown Board of Education on Monday sought the order that would bar Mayor Jamael Tito Brown from making the appointments. A new board is scheduled to begin in January.

The state wants to replace the current school board because the district has received overall “F” grades on state report cards for the last four years. The mayor is given the power to make the replacements because of Ohio House Bill 70 — also known as the Youngstown Plan — which the school board has been fighting.

Approved in 2015, HB 70 states if a school district does not receive at least an overall “C” grade on the state report card in the fourth year, the school board shall be replaced by a board selected by the community’s mayor.

However, the board’s attorney argues the September 2019 report card for the district is the third, not the fourth year the district has been subject to the provision under HB 70.

Candidates elected to the board of education in the general election today, who are not currently holding any elected position, may be considered for the five-member board to be selected by Brown, so long as they are one of those agreed upon by the nominating panel.

The nominating panel consists of two people appointed by Brown; a district principal selected by a vote of district’s principals; a teacher appointed by the district union; a parent; the chairman of the district’s academic distress commission; and the state superintendent, who will be a non-voting member of the panel during the first two years of its existence.

The names of potential nominees for the school board to be selected by the mayor are to be given Friday to Paolo DeMaria, the Ohio Department of Education’s state superintendent of instruction. The panel is scheduled Thursday to narrow the list of candidates to a minimum of 10.

Brown will have up to 30 days to determine which of the candidates will serve on the school board beginning in January.

news@tribtoday.com

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