YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Youngstown Schools CEO Krish Mohip spent an hour and a half with city council Monday evening, discussing his plan to reshape and improve the academics of the district. And to this audience, that plan was well-received.
The CEO has been criticized lately for his plan to improve the district. Two weeks ago, the Community Leadership Coalition on Education admonished him for paying his top administrators too much and for changing the already successful Youngstown Early College.
Mohip said he heard community members express the desire for neighborhood schools, so he’s bringing them back next year and most of council supports it.
He touched on the gap between city and suburban schools.
“When I see children of Youngstown compared to children of Poland, I see children with brains and it’s really what we put into them,” Mohip said.
Councilman T.J. Rodgers questioned sending students from Taft Elementary to East High, while sending those from Paul C. Bunn Elementary to Chaney. Mohip responded by saying it was to keep the enrollments balanced.
“I think there’s other ways of doing it besides carving out a little area on one side of town and sending them over to a different school in an area that just happens to be one of the highest crime rates in the city,” Rodgers said.
Mohip believes the key to education is quality teachers, which is why he spent $750,000 this year on professional development.
“The teacher is the number one thing that is going to bring about change in this district,” Mohip said.
Another issue he addressed Monday was criticism about putting preschool children in the same school and on the same buses as eighth graders. He said the administration is “going to put ownership on older students to look out for the younger ones.”
When the meeting was over, the majority of council publicly supported Mohip’s plan.
“Also being a Youngstown City School parent, I’m very pleased with the work that’s been done so far,” Councilwoman Basia Adamczak said.
Rodgers said that just because he doesn’t like how Mohip has the neighborhood schools configured doesn’t mean he disagrees with Mohip’s approach.
Councilwoman Anita Davis added that if Youngstown doesn’t have better schools, the city “can never come back.”