COLUMBUS – August 21, 2015 – Today, the Ohio Education Association (OEA) along with the Youngstown City School District Board of Education, the Youngstown Education Association – an affiliate of the OEA, Ohio Council 8 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), and Jane Haggerty, a taxpayer and Youngstown voter, filed a lawsuit in Franklin County to stop the scheduled state takeover of Youngstown City Schools.
The suit against the State of Ohio, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Richard Ross, and the Ohio Department of Education, claims the law that sets up a state takeover was rushed through the Ohio legislature without receiving three readings in each chamber, as required by the Ohio Constitution and in a manner that prevented thorough debate and consideration of the law, including input from educators and local citizens. The suit also claims the law violates the right of local citizens to have elected representatives oversee their school districts.
“Educators want to be able to advocate for their students,” said OEA president Becky Higgins. “The plan to turn over decision-making authority in the Youngstown schools to single person – a CEO – would effectively silence the voices of educators. That’s unacceptable. Educators are committed to improving the Youngstown schools and they need to be heard.”
The plaintiffs asked the judge for a preliminary injunction to block the establishment of a new “Academic Distress Commission” that would name a CEO to run the schools until report card ratings improve. The appointed CEO would have the authority to replace administrators, set class sizes, alter existing contracts and set compensation.
The Ohio Education Association (ohea.org) represents 121,000 teachers, faculty members and support professionals in Ohio’s public schools, colleges and universities.
CONTACT: Michele Prater
614-227-3071; cell 614-378-0469, firstname.lastname@example.org