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Youngstown school board suing to keep positions

Under Ohio HB 70, also called the Youngstown Plan, Mayor Jamael Tito Brown is able to appoint a new school board if state performance markers aren’t met within four school years.
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YOUNGSTOWN — The Youngstown City Schools board is suing Mayor Jamael Tito Brown to stop his appointment of a new school board.

Under Ohio HB 70 also called the Youngstown Plan Mayor Brown is able to appoint a new school board if state performance markers aren’t met within four school years.

However, the civil suit, filed Monday morning in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court, claims those new rules have only been in effect for three school years.

The new rules, which also created an Academic Distress Commission and CEO position to steer the district, took effect in October 2015, more than three months into the school year, the suit contends.

The district once again received an overall ‘F’ grade in the most recent state school report cards, released in September.

The suit also claims the constitutionality of the statute that created the Academic Distress Commission is still under review by the Ohio Supreme Court. If the statute is overturned, a wipe of the city school board would be “for naught and invalid,” the suit reads.

The school board is seeking an injunction to temporarily halt those appointments, at least until the 2020-21 school year.

New schools CEO Justin Jennings said Monday: “We’re just going to continue what we’ve been doing: focusing on the teaching and learning of our scholars.”

Under state statute, the new school board would begin Jan. 1.



Justin Dennis

About the Author: Justin Dennis

Justin Dennis has been on the beat since 2011, covering crime, courts and public education. Dennis grew up in Poland and Salem and studied journalism and communications at Cleveland State University and University of Pittsburgh.
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