Youngstown CEO decides to limit school board’s power

Krish Mohip says the Youngstown School Board needs to be set up differently

Youngstown Schools CEO Krish Mohip limited the school board's power.
FILE - Krish Mohip at school board meeting on September 27, 2016

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Youngstown City Schools CEO Krish Mohip decided Tuesday to basically shut out the seven-member school board from making any future decisions concerning the district.

In a prepared statement at Tuesday evening’s school board meeting, Mohip made it clear that he was the boss and will only need the board if he asks them for advice.

He began his statement saying he had been in charge for 90 days, and now was the time to change how he interacts with the school board and the role it will play in the future.

Mohip determined that the board will meet once a month. The board already had two meetings scheduled within the next month.

“We adopted meetings at the beginning of the year, and I do believe we still have the right to have those meetings throughout this year,” said School Board President Brenda Kimble.

She says they should still be able to have those meetings whether Mohip is there or not.

“But hopefully he will be there, if we’re working together.”

Mohip also wants control of the meetings’ agendas.

“I will take the agenda under advisement, I will set the agenda and circulate it when I have it finalized,” he said.

At all future meetings, the school system’s chief academic advisor and treasurer will submit reports and recommendations directly to Mohip. Then, without board input, he will decide whether or not to accept them.

Mohip explained his directive to school board members on how he plans to work with them.

“The board may also have an opportunity to advise me on certain issues as I deem appropriate, but only when I specifically ask for the input.”

The school board members, who didn’t know Mohip’s changes were coming, sat and listened. No one commented until after the meeting was over.

“The idea that the board as a whole…its very voice is going to be shut down. I don’t think that bodes well for the relationship between the district and the community,” Dario Hunter said.

Mohip says the school board needs to be set up differently.

“We don’t necessarily need to meet three times a month, we can meet one time a month. We can really use their expertise when needed, otherwise we’re going to rely on our internal team to make the changes that need to occur.”

Kimble said during the meeting that, by law, the school board will decide whether to accept a 15-year, 100 percent tax abatement requested through the City of Youngstown for a new downtown hotel.

After the meeting, Mohip said that was his decision. He said previously that he’ll decide on the tax abatement before Youngstown City Council meets again next Wednesday.

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