State Representatives Joseph A. Miller III (D-Amherst) and Don Jones (R-Freeport) recently announced they will soon introduce bipartisan legislation to repeal portions of House Bill 70 — the state takeover bill.
Rep. Miller, who taught social studies at Firelands High School — and a member of Firelands E.A. / OEA — before being elected to the Ohio House, said the proposal would dissolve the Academic Distress Commissions that have “been unable to work effectively alongside the district’s teachers, school leaders and community.” He also added the proposed legislation would “give struggling schools the support they need to succeed.”
“The Academic Distress Commissions have been unable to work effectively alongside the district’s teachers…”
Rep. Jones, the pending legislation’s co-sponsor, is also an educator. Before being elected to the Ohio House, Jones was an agricultural education teacher and FFA∗ advisor at Harrison Central High School — and a member of the Harrison Hill T.A./OEA — for 23 years. In the statement announcing the proposed legislation, Jones said that Ohio schools “need more local control — not less.”
Ohio schools “need more local control — not less.”
The 2015 legislation currently requires the state superintendent to intervene via “Academic Distress Commissions” for any school district declared to be in “Academic Emergency.” Placed under state-control, the commission assumes the decision-making authority of the locally-elected school board. It also hires a CEO with broad powers to run the district, overruling the local school board’s appointed superintendent.
Miller and Jones are currently seeking additional legislative sponsors and are expected to introduce a formal bill soon. Their initiative has the support of the OEA.
∗Future Farmers of America
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