Crowd decries coming state takeover of Youngstown Schools

Public meeting at McGuffey Elementary School. Sept. 17, 2015
About 100 people gather for a YEA-sponsored public meeting on the Youngstown Plan for the city school district. at McGuffey Elementary School. Sept. 17, 2015

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The union representing teachers in the Youngstown City School District held a public meeting at the McGuffey Elementary School on South Schenley Avenue Thursday evening. About 100 parents, students and neighbors attended.

The Youngstown Education Association says the goal was to learn and discuss the impact of a CEO taking over the district. Many came ready with questions and concerns, like Anita Davis of Youngstown. “Will we know who the CEO is going to be? What is his knowledge of our community and what is his knowledge of education in general?” asks Davis.

YEA Vice President Paula Valentini says, “House Bill 70 did not include educators or parents or community members in the decisions or in the planning. And we know ultimately those are the three parties that care the most about our kids and know the most about our children.”

School Board President Brenda Kimble believes there won’t be a takeover. “I’m very confident. But I’m very dedicated as well. I couldn’t walk around here saying I’m not confident when I’m fighting to save our public system and our children. I’m confident we’ll be OK.”

Meantime, the Board of Education met in executive session to consider legal advice with their pending lawsuit against the state. A hearing on an injunction request is set for September 29.

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