Oberlin school board joins fight against state takeover of Youngstown district

A resolution rejecting Ohio House Bill 70 was unanimously passed last Tuesday by the Oberlin board of education.

HB 70 passed in June and would allow the state to strip the Youngstown school board of its powers unless changes are quickly made to the struggling district.

“It’s a state takeover of the whole school system,” said Oberlin superintendent David Hall.

He said state officials would take control of the Youngstown district, replacing the school board with brand new members and reorganizing the academic system.

The lawmakers who passed HB 70 noted the Youngstown school district had numerous years of failing state report cards and academic issues.

“The adoption of this amendment was completed by Columbus-based legislators with little or no connection to the Youngstown community and without any genuine effort to engage those most affected by the action,” stated Oberlin’s resolution. “This legislation lays the groundwork for the same restructuring changes to take place in other districts across the state.”

Hall said most school districts in the area are combining to fight HB 70.

“I don’t think the state is helping anyone by taking over Youngstown schools,” said Oberlin board of education president Ken Stanley. “It takes complete local control away from the district.”

Valerie Urbanik can be reached at 440-775-1611 or on Twitter @ValUrbanik.