State Defends School Takeover Law in Ohio Supreme Court Case

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – The state is arguing that lawmakers didn’t violate the Ohio Constitution or a procedural rule when they passed the divisive House Bill 70, which shifted control of poor-performing school districts.

The Ohio Supreme Court is considering a case challenging the so-called Youngstown Plan, which puts operational control of such districts in the hands of unelected CEOs instead of their publicly elected school boards. The version of legislation that contained those changes was pushed through the Legislature in one day in 2015.

Youngstown’s school board and school employees’ unions say it violates the constitution by stripping school boards’ authority. They also say lawmakers ignored the “Three Reading Rule” requiring repeated consideration of legislation.

In a filing Monday, the state argued neither claim is true and that the law should stand.