Youngstown Schools CEO denies funding for district’s suit against HB 70

House Bill 70 created the new Academic Distress Commission and brought in a CEO to manage the district

The Youngstown Academic Distress Commission approved CEO Krish Mohip's strategic plan.

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Youngstown City Schools CEO Krish Mohip said he will not approve funding to appeal House Bill 70, which put him in control of the struggling school district.

But some school board members said that won’t stop them from continuing their efforts to stop H.B. 70.

The school board questioned the legality of the bill, also known as the Youngstown Plan, which created the new Academic Distress Commission and brought Mohip to the district. The Youngstown Plan also stripped all of the powers of the school board.

It was designed to improve performance at the district, which had been struggling to meet state education standards.

Mohip said if the school board wants to continue to be a part of an appeal, it will need another source of funding.

CEO Mohip signed a resolution Friday morning, halting district funding for these types of lawsuits or any legal services that will hinder the success of the Strategic Plan.

“The school board brought this lawsuit before the transformation had even begun,” said Mohip. “Now two years later we have a final decision, and it’s time to move on.”

School Board President Brenda Kimble said they still plan to continue their appeal, but she couldn’t say how she’d do so until after meeting with legal counsel on Monday.

“The board has no intention of backing off of this lawsuit,” she said.

She said House Bill 70 violates the constitution because it removes the power of the school board and “suppresses voters’ rights.” She questions Mohip’s spending on personnel and other legal expenses.

School Board member Dario Hunter also issued the following statement in response to Mohip’s resolution:

We just had a YCS counselor come to a school board meeting and list some appalling failures in special education under the CEO’s watch. The CEO should focus on that first. After all, if our kids aren’t getting the education and services they need then what exactly is the point of the state takeover?”

Mohip said other parties to the lawsuit may continue to appeal Judge Jenifer French’s decision, but he’s moving forward to make improvements at the district, as he was hired to do.

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