Group addresses Ohio’s high court to fight Youngstown Schools takeover

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A local group hopes to get back control of the Youngstown City School District

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – A group of people fighting to get control back of the Youngstown City School District went before the Ohio Supreme Court Wednesday.

At issue is House Bill 70, which shifted operational control of poor-performing school districts from locally elected boards to unelected CEOs.

The Youngstown school board and school employees’ unions argued the law on so-called state takeovers violates the Ohio Constitution. They also say lawmakers violated a procedural rule when the divisive House Bill 70 was pushed through the Legislature in 2015.

The state denies that and defends the law.

Reverend Ken Simon said he believes oral arguments went well, but the justices may not make a ruling for some time. He said he believes that House Bill 70 was designed to give the state the opportunity to take over the school district and privatize it.

“We gotta stay in this fight. This is for our kid’s sake. Our children are being exploited in the Youngstown City School District,” he said.

Simon said in the several years that the state has had control over the district, there has been no real improvement.

Justices heard the case at Montpelier Junior and Senior High School in Williams County during a court session away from their usual Columbus courtroom.

Lawmakers also have been considering proposals to change the law but haven’t agreed on a plan.

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Mel Robbins Main Area Middle

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