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Will Cleveland schools get a waiver from state control?
Ohio's second-largest school district acknowledges it is failing, but says it already has a state-blessed plan to change that

Web Editor
M.L. Schultze
Cleveland schools CEO Eric Gordon says the district already has a turnaround plan in place.
Courtesy of Cleveland Municipal School District
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In The Region:

The state is expected to announce today if it will exempt Cleveland from the partial takeover required by Ohio law for failing schools.  WKSU’s M.L. Schultze has more on the continuing academic struggles of the state’s second-largest school district.

SCHULTZE: Cleveland schools and the waiver request

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The Ohio Department of Education and Cleveland school officials plan a press conference for 1 this afternoon announcing whether Cleveland will get a waiver from the state takeover.

The law requires that academic distress commissions – five member boards, with the state appointing three – move in when a district scores the equivalent of an “F” on its state report cards for four straight years.

This year was year four for Cleveland.  But the district is also working with the blessing of state lawmakers and the Ohio Department of Education under a new transformation plan that it promises will change all that.

And that’s the basis for Cleveland’s request for a waiver. Chief Executive Officer Eric Gordon maintains that the Cleveland Transformation Plan gives the state about the same control it would have through a distress commission, so the commission would be redundant. And Cleveland City Council and the Greater Cleveland Partnership have passed resolutions supporting Gordon.

Right now, only one school district in the state has a distress commission – Youngstown. Lorain is the other district that is now failing under the state law’s definition. 

Related Links & Resources
StateImpact Ohio on the Cleveland Plan and a waiver

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