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Senate Panel Considers Changes To School Takeovers Bill

Ohio Senate Education Committee listens to testimony on HB154 at the Ohio Senate Building in downtown Columbus.

The Ohio Senate Education Committee is scheduled for a possible vote on, HB154, a measure that would overhaul the way the state handles failing school districts. The bill would attempt to move away from what's known as state takeovers of local districts, but critics say there's still not enough local control. 

Under the proposal, a district that gets two Fs in a row could go into contract with a school improvement organization. A plan would be created under the watch of a governor-appointed school transformation board.

If the district still doesn't improve after another four years, then it would be subject to a takeover. That would require a total of six consecutive Fs, the current system allows for a state takeover after three consecutive Fs.

Democrats say this still pumps more money into bureaucracy instead of providing more resources on the local level.

Lingering issues include how a school improvement plan might impact collective bargaining agreements, and what would happen to the three districts already under state control: Youngstown, East Cleveland, and Lorain.

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