Youngstown, Lorain, and East Cleveland are high-poverty school districts that are under state control in Ohio due to low performance on the state report card. Dayton schools could be next at the end of this school year. Columbus, Ashtabula, Canton, Euclid, Lima, Mansfield, North College, Painesville, and Toledo Public Schools face undemocratic state takeovers after next school year. State takeovers of public school districts are UNDEMOCRATIC, UNACCOUNTABLE, and UNACCEPTABLE.
Demonstrating growing Statehouse contempt for House Bill 70, Ohio’s school takeover policy, at least two bipartisan bills have been introduced to eliminate the disruptive school takeover law.
Ohioans need to show their support for these bipartisan bills by passing official resolutions seeking an immediate repeal of HB 70, because one cannot assume that the proposed legislation will move forward through the policy-making process without citizen input.
We must all work together to put a stop to the state takeovers of public school districts in Ohio.
Urge your local community leaders, school board members, district administrators, PTAs, public education advocates, and others to pass official resolutions asking Gov. Mike DeWine and the Ohio General Assembly to completely and immediately repeal HB 70 and replace it with an evidence-based turnaround model that restores local control and improves student outcomes.
To save time, all are welcome to copy, paste, and personalize the following composite:
Resolution to Repeal Ohio’s School Takeover Law – House Bill 70
WHEREAS, after months of covert meetings led by the Ohio Department of Education at the behest of the governor, Ohio’s 131st General Assembly swiftly enacted a school takeover bill in 2015, and the governor signed HB 70 into law, a plan to take over public school districts with low test scores and replace them with charter schools; and
WHEREAS, Ohio’s citizens have never agreed to any initiative to give the state authority to take over struggling public school districts; and
WHEREAS, House Bill 70 may have bypassed Article VI Section 3 of the Ohio Constitution, stating that, “Provision shall be made by law for the organization, administration and control of the public school system of the state supported by public funds: provided, that each school district embraced wholly or in part within any city shall have the power by referendum vote to determine for itself the number of members and the organization of the district board of education, and provision shall be made by law for the exercise of this power by such school districts;” and
WHEREAS, an elected school board provides a democratic voice for parents and community members to influence decision-making regarding public education; and
WHEREAS, school takeovers eliminate local democratic control when struggling districts are placed under state takeover; and
WHEREAS, school districts in economically distressed areas generally have low grades on the state report card, and school districts in affluent areas have high grades; and
WHEREAS, an overwhelming majority of the public believes that disinvestment in schools is a primary obstacle to a high-quality public education; and
WHEREAS, efforts to change the governance of public schools will not result in the infusion of needed resources and will shift responsibility for providing a sound public education away from the state and towards financially struggling parents; and
WHEREAS, school takeover policies in other states have failed to raise student achievement and have created disruptions for students, parents, and community members; and
WHEREAS, high-quality opportunities for all students require additional resources, including better access to health and social services, early childhood education, and academic enrichment programs, which are the cornerstone of improved outcomes for Ohio’s children; therefore be it
RESOLVED that ____________________ supports the complete and immediate repeal of HB 70, as well as replacement of the policy with an evidence-based turnaround model that restores local control and improves student outcomes; and be it
FURTHER RESOLVED that ___________________ shall inform the press and the community regarding the harm inflicted by HB 70.
Signed resolutions should be forwarded to Gov. DeWine, the Ohio General Assembly education leaders, and the media.