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Ohio Education Association Vows to Continue Fight Against Ill-Conceived State Takeover Law in Wake of Supreme Court Decision

[May 13, 2020] The Ohio Education Association (OEA) is disappointed but undeterred by the Ohio Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the 2015 law that allowed the creation of state-appointed academic distress commissions, while wresting control from local school districts and failing to serve the best interests of students.

OEA members will continue to seek a legislative remedy to the fatally-flawed state takeover law.

“House Bill 70 was short-sighted and wrong,” said OEA President Scott DiMauro. “A long-term solution is needed to address the ongoing problems plaguing struggling schools.”

“Local educators and school board members are in the best position to guide reforms to improve student outcomes, not state-appointed commissions and unelected CEOs,” DiMauro said.

OEA supported the passage of House Bill 154 which would have restored local control to elected school boards while holding school districts accountable by requiring school improvement teams in F-rated school buildings. “We will continue to work with like-minded legislators of both parties to renew the push for the Ohio General Assembly to act in the best interest of our students and repeal the state takeover law,” DiMauro said.

The Supreme Court decision consents to a rushed legislative process that allowed a secretly negotiated state takeover proposal to be passed and signed into law in a single day, but it is not a decision on the merits of the law itself.

“HB 70 has been a disaster for local communities,” DiMauro said. “Simply put: the law didn’t work. The loss of local control in Youngstown, Lorain, and East Cleveland schools has not helped the students in those districts.”

OEA stands ready to work with the Ohio General Assembly to fix the state takeover mess by passing legislation to return local control, alleviate barriers to learning caused by poverty, and fix Ohio’s broken report card system.

“Student performance is not improved by punishing districts that face the greatest challenges,” DiMauro said. “Students are only served well by giving those districts the resources they need and giving local educators a seat at the table with their collective bargaining rights secured.”

OEA represents 122,000 teachers, faculty members and support professionals who work in Ohio’s schools, colleges, and universities to help improve public education and the lives of Ohio’s children. OEA members provide professional services to benefit students, schools and the public in virtually every position needed to run Ohio’s schools.

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2020 Press Releases