Youngstown School Board struggles to agree on several issues

The verbal back-and-forth between the school board began from the start at Tuesday's meeting

The Youngstown City School Board struggled to come to an agreement at its meeting.

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – After lengthy debate, the Youngstown School Board approved several items at its meeting Thursday evening.

The verbal back-and-forth between the board began from the start, when President Brenda Kimble asked for what is normally a routine vote: passage of the meeting’s agenda.

“This agenda is a failure because this board is a failure, this district has failed its children and we have the report cards to show for it,” said board member Dario Hunter.

Hunter wanted discussions on special education, bullying, staffing and creationism in the curriculum.

Fellow member Ronald Shadd said the creationism issue was dealt with and eliminated.

“We don’t harbor on things that we’ve already corrected. We go forth and build off the things that we know that we need to build on to make this district stronger.”

At one point, Kimble stopped the discussion and called for a vote.

“Madam President, you don’t have the authority to close discussion under Robert’s rules. Only a third’s majority of the board, point of order, can limit the time for debate,” Hunter said.

Treasurer Sherry Tyson agreed with Hunter, and the debate continued.

Member Jerome Williams was visibly upset with Hunter and fellow member Jackie Adair, who he says are consistently negative.

“We can’t go forward unless seven members work together, so certain members who do not want to work together want to keep negative,” Williams said.

The board considered extending the contract of interim superintendent Steve Stohla for a one year. Member Corrine Sanderson objected because Stohla had not been given a performance review and when she was sent the review documents, they were wrong.

“It does tend to make me think that it’s intentional not to have the evaluation. I hope that is not the case,” she said.

By a 4-3 vote, Stohla’s contract was extended until June 30, 2017.

The board also approved spending $15,000 to send school administrators on a retreat in August at Embassy Suites in Beachwood, which Hunter referred to as “obscene.” Kimble said it is 15 of the school system’s top administrators and is a good thing.

CEO Krish Mohip, whose first day is on Wednesday, did not attend Tuesday’s meeting.

Mohip will be a guest on WKBN 27 First News This Morning on Wednesday during the 6:30 half hour.

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