Bill Would Stop State Takeover of More School Districts

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – Ohio lawmakers have proposed undoing a law that shifted operational control of poor-performing school districts to state-run panels and unelected CEOs, though three districts already affected would remain under state control.

Democratic Rep. Kent Smith, of Euclid, and Republican Rep. Steve Hambley, of Brunswick, say their bill introduced Monday would prevent more so-called “state takeovers” of troubled districts through academic distress commissions.

Legislation enabling that was pushed through the Legislature in one day in 2015. The first affected district, Youngstown, is challenging it in a case before the Ohio Supreme Court. The other affected districts, Lorain and East Cleveland, urged justices to hear that case.

The state denies the district’s claim that lawmakers violated the Ohio Constitution and a procedural rule when they passed the divisive House Bill 70.