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Ohio Senate Panel Set To Vote On School Takeover Changes

A Hilliard schools student completes classroom work with an iPad.
Columbus Neighborhoods

The Ohio Senate Education Committee is scheduled to vote Tuesday on HB154, a measure that would overhaul the way the state handles failing school districts.

The bill would attempt to move away from what's known as state takeovers of local districts, but critics say there's still not enough local control.

Under the proposal, a district that gets two Fs in a row could go into contract with a school improvement organization. A plan would be created under the watch of a governor-appointed school transformation board.

If the district still doesn't improve after another four years, then it would be subject to a takeover. That would require a total of six consecutive Fs, the current system allows for a state takeover after three consecutive Fs.

Democrats say this still pumps more money into bureaucracy instead of providing more resources on the local level.

Lingering issues include how a school improvement plan might impact collective bargaining agreements, and what would happen to the three districts already under state control: Youngstown, East Cleveland and Lorain.

Andy Chow is a general assignment state government reporter who focuses on environmental, energy, agriculture, and education-related issues. He started his journalism career as an associate producer with ABC 6/FOX 28 in Columbus before becoming a producer with WBNS 10TV.