YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Ohio Governor Mike DeWine says he supports revising House Bill 70, the law allowing the state takeover of the Youngstown City Schools. Since then, House Bill 154 has been introduced, which would dissolve all state takeovers of public schools in Ohio.
A discussion took place Monday night at the New Bethel Baptist Church in Youngstown regarding HB 154. One of its sponsors, State Representative Joe Miller, of Lorain County, was there to explain what he hopes to change.
Along with learning more about the proposed bill, those who attended were also able to meet some of the legislators who give this bill bipartisan support, like local lawmakers Michele Lepore-Hagan and Don Manning.
Speakers from both sides of the aisle in Columbus answered questions about the proposed changes.
“There has been a push by leadership in the House on both sides to actually reach out to the other side and meet these Republicans, meet these Democrats and find areas you can agree upon so that good legislation will work for all Ohioans,” Miller said.
HB 154 is co-sponsored by Republican Don Jones, who is the vice chair of the state’s education committee.
“He has given me support. He has also brought along a lot of Republicans on his side of the aisle that are in support of House Bill 154,” Miller said.
Miller is a former public school teacher of 20 years, along with being a freshman representative.
“We enjoy working together especially because we know this is working for the children, working for the families and working for the communities that have been hit by HB 70,” he said.
If passed, HB 154 would eliminate the Academic Distress Commission and the need for a CEO to run the Youngstown City School District, which would ultimately restore local control to the school district.
Proponents hope to have the bill sent to the Senate so it can be part of the upcoming state budget.
The forum was sponsored by the Youngstown Community Leadership Coalition on Education.