COLUMBUS — The Ohio House voted Wednesday to end state takeovers of school districts, which have come under fire for failing to provide struggling schools with the support they need as out-of-district CEOs replaced democratically elected school boards in East Cleveland, Lorain and Youngstown.
But despite broad, bipartisan support, state Rep. Tom Brinkman voted against ending them.
“Failed school takeovers have been bad for students, bad for districts and bad for Ohio. Districts have suffered under this disastrous school takeover plan for too long,” said Cincinnati Public Schools Board Member Mike Moroski. “It’s disappointing that Tom Brinkman doesn’t support local control of local schools. We owe it to our kids to get this right.”
The Akron Beacon Journal editorial board said recently the takeovers have been “problematic, to say the least,” adding that a “lack of transparency and accountability heighten… tensions and work against the collective effort required to achieve better academic outcomes.”
House Bill 154 is bipartisan legislation that would dissolve existing Academic Distress Commissions, prevent the creation of new ones and require local boards of education to establish improvement plans for low-performing schools, including adding more wraparound services like after-school enrichment and social and health services.