Youngstown schools resistant to Kasich plan

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A year after being released from academic emergency, the head of Youngstown City Schools said the district is not looking for any additional help from state lawmakers.

Three weeks ago, while signing a law giving more control of the Columbus schools to city leaders, Gov. John Kasich urged other districts around the state to do the same.

“I hope we’re gonna see it in Youngstown,” said Kasich. “It’s contagious. I know we’re gonna see something in Cincinnati and many of the districts in suburban Ohio and rural Ohio.”

Both the Columbus and Cleveland Public Schools are under local government control. Youngstown Superintendent Connie Hathorn said Youngstown has been working with an Academic Distress Commission since 2010 and has a plan of its own in place.

“You look at the data that we have, we’re showing improvement,” said Hathorn. “You look at Cleveland, they have their plan in place. They didn’t make any progress for two or three years. The last two years, we have made significant gain.”

Rep. Bob Hagan, D-Youngstown, and Rep. Ron Gerberry, D-Austintown, voted against the Columbus and Cleveland plans saying local schools need to have their autonomy.

“I think the governor would like to force every school system into these types of plans and move in a direction of privatizing public schools,” said Gerberry.

Hathorn said Youngstown City Schools just needs time to build on its success.

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