Youngstown School Board fighting ruling on distress commission

Youngstown School Board President Brenda Kimble said she is sticking with her appointment to the district's Academic Distress Commission, despite a judge's ruling.
Youngstown School Board President Brenda Kimble has been given 48 hours to appoint a teacher to the Academic Distress Commission.

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The Youngstown City School Board voted 4-to-3 to appeal a judge’s ruling to appoint a new person to the district’s Academic Distress Commission.

Board President Brenda Kimble appointed Carol Staten to the commission, which came under fire by the Youngstown Education Association teacher’s union. Staten is a retired administrator and substitute principal, and the teacher’s union argued she did not meet the requirement.

Judge Lou D’Apolito sided with the union and said the board must make another appointment. The board was given two days after his ruling, on January 27.

Kimble said, despite the YEA and Judge D’Apolito not approving her choice for the distress commission, she is sticking with Staten.

Kimble said the case will now go before the Court of Appeals. She says the commission and the state do not oppose Staten becoming a member and that only YEA disapproves of the appointment.

Although Kimble says she does not like the idea of Youngstown School District being run by a CEO — as the state required as part of the takeover — she denied that she is trying to slow down the timeline.

“Well, I didn’t sue myself, so no,” she said. “I made my selection. I notified them in a timely matter. I’m not holding anything up.”

School Board member Dario Hunter, who was the only member of the school board to speak on Friday, said he took issue with the appeal. He was one of three board members to vote against it.

Hunter said he also opposes a CEO running the district, but things need to move forward.

“This action itself — I find it to be personally-motivated,” he said. “I find it ridiculous we’re spending so much in legal fees to appoint Madame President’s cousin to the Academic Distress Commission, and I think everyone involved should look at the best interests of the children.”

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