Valley senator pushing bill giving community more power in schools

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Senator Joe Schiavoni, D-Boardman, is pushing for a new law that he says would give the community a stronger voice when it comes to local schools.

Senate Bill 230 would get more community members involved in academic distress commissions like the one for Youngstown City Schools.

Last year, a last-minute amendment was added to House Bill 70 that changed the structure for these commissions.

With the new bill, the number of commission members would increase to create more balance between community members and leaders in Columbus. Schiavoni says more Ohio school districts are adopting the HB-70 model, which was originally structured for Youngstown. He says HB-70 gives too much room for the CEO to get rid of community members’ opinions.

“These are really quality recommendations that came from the Mahoning Valley, that came from real Youngstown residents, and when you have some change, it should come from within,” he said.

Senate Bill 230 would also get rid of the provision that dissolves the elected school board and would delay CEO actions by one year.

Schiavoni says that would give schools and teachers time to adjust and prepare.