House Bill 70 opponents rally in Youngstown

Opponents of House Bill 70 rallied in Youngstown, Ohio

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Opponents of a plan to replace the Youngstown City Schools superintendent with a state-appointed CEO said they will continue to fight to re-take control of the district.

Dozens of union and community leaders, as well as school district employees, supporters and children, turned out THursday morning for a rally on the steps of the Board of Education building.

They are calling efforts to do away with the locally-elected school board and administration “disrespectful” to the community and “undemocratic.”

“We are not, none of us, saying that something does not need to be done and I applaud any effort to fix it. But when you try to fix it and you eliminate everybody in the system that is affected by the system, that is a problem,” Jalada Aslam, president of AFSCNE Council 8 said.

Aslam said her union represents about 450 non-teaching employees in the district.

Speakers Thursday morning complained local workers were left out of the discussions about House Bill 70 as a way of silencing opposition to the measure.

“There was no opportunity for opponents to testify and they ran it through. They knew exactly what they were doing when they all went there to testify,” Aslam said.

She said House Bill 70 opponents will continue working with state lawmakers from the Valley to see if the law can be changed to put local stakeholders back in control and have more say in how the district can improve.

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