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Education

Schiavoni Compares House Education Bill to Youngstown Takeover

A photo of Sen. Joe Schiavoni (D-Youngstown).
ANDY CHOW
/
STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

The bill to overhaul the state’s education system and hand more control over to the governor’s office is getting its first committee hearing. Opponents say this measure strips away local control and one senator sees similarities to another controversial bill from a few years ago.

In June 2015, lawmakers added last minute changes to a bill that led to the Youngstown City School District takeover by the state.

Democratic Sen. Joe Schiavoni of the Youngstown area, who’s running for governor, says that bill was created with little public input and took away control from local elected school board members.

Schiavoni is drawing comparisons between that bill and the new House proposal that would consolidate several departments into one giant organization.

“Rather than going in and trying to figure out how we can give these kids good opportunities, you just take it over and say well school board you must not know what you’re doing and therefore we do in Columbus and we’re going to make those decisions for you.”

The bill creates a department director who would answer directly to the governor. Supporters say this will streamline education polices that connect with career-readiness and will make the governor more accountable in education issues.