YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Youngstown City students are just two weeks away from their first day of school, but the board is still rehashing old issues.
For the most part, Tuesday night’s meeting was quiet but tensions were running high.
It lasted over two hours, leaving community members in the audience wondering what the school board actually accomplished.
“This isn’t what I came for, this isn’t what I thought I was going to hear. I thought it would be something exciting and information about what’s going to happen,” said Cossell Burton, a concerned citizen.
She says she would like to hear more from the public, including children and teachers.
“More than just the board members, and they go on for so long when they get a chance to talk. They just go on, and on and on.”
Board members called each other out about committee meetings. At one point, member Dario Hunter called out the entire board, saying it’s been negligent in fulfilling public records acts.
“This board, along with its predecessors, are guilty of a scandalous number of Sunshine Law violations stretching over years, and an unconscionable attempt to cover up the violations on the parts of certain board members aided by employees of the district.”
President Brenda Kimble retorted, saying she made it clear at the beginning of the year how public records were handled.
The board’s long-winded side discussions discouraged parents and citizens.
“Seemed to me it was what should have been discussed before the public got here. The board members were really kind of talking among themselves,” Burton said.
“Some of the side conversation, to possibly happen before, either in their work session or possibly the committee meetings,” said Tina Cvetkovich, a parent.
Still, both women say they are optimistic for a better school year.
Some policies were approved Tuesday, including filling new vacancies and issues regarding how CEO Krish Mohip will handle finances. The board also discussed student transportation and bus driver training.
Mohip announced new classes at East High School, including career connections, IT, engineering, intro to dance and piano classes. He says the IT and engineering classes will help the school introduce a STEM program in the future.
Later Tuesday night, Mohip said there will be an upcoming “board retreat,” where he will work with members to “create a stronger board focused on student outcomes.”
The board retreat will take place within the next couple of months, though a date has not yet been finalized.