State files motion to dismiss Youngstown School District lawsuit

Youngstown City Schools bus

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – In the same day that attorneys for the Youngstown City School District filed a list of witnesses and exhibits they will utilize during their legal battle with the state of Ohio over who will run district, the state filed a motion to dismiss the case entirely.

In court documents filed Wednesday in Franklin County Court, the Youngstown City School District submitted a list of witnesses and exhibits that will be used in the district’s fight to keep a state appointed CEO from taking over the school district.

The list contains the names of lawmakers, union leaders, parents and school officials and their expected testimony along with emails and documents that support their case that House Bill 70, which allows for the state to appoint a CEO to failing school systems, is unconstitutional and that the Youngstown schools were improving.

The witness list includes State Representative Denise Driehaus, D-Cincinnati, who says she originally authored the initial version of H.B. 70, but said that the passed version of the legislation was so “vitally altered” from its previous provisions that she voted against her own bill.

State Senator Joe Schiavoni, D-Boardman, is expected to testify that he had no notice of amendments to H.B. 70 until 24 hours before its passage.

The list also includes representatives from Governor Kasich’s staff and Tom Humphries, president and CEO of the Youngstown-Warren Regional Chamber of Commerce.

The state of Ohio also filed a motion Wednesday to dismiss the case stating that the complaint “fails to state a claim under which relief can be given,” according to court documents. In the filing, the state contends that H.B.70 was passed and signed into law using legal and constitutional processes, and that the Youngstown City School District’s complaint is “little more than a thinly disguised effort to re-argue the policy merits of H.B. 70, a question for the General Assembly, not this court.”

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