YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Youngstown City Schools took one more step toward local control Tuesday night. In a six to one vote, the board approved a plan to submit to the state to get out of the Academic Distress Commission.
For the last decade, Youngstown City Schools has not had authority to run the district, but after Tuesday night, that could be changing.
“These are the first steps to take this great leap out of state control,” said Ronald Shadd, board president.
That plan will undergo a review by the state, who has 30 days to approve or ask for changes.
“Every step of the way, we have been working to get back local control,” Shadd said.
One member of the board voted against sending the plan to the state for approval. Jackie Adair says this plan leaves too many children behind.
“Eighty-five, eighty-six percent of our kids who this plan basically just writes off,” Adair said.
Current proficiently rates in Youngstown Schools hovers around eight percent or less for math in students third grade and up.
Numbers dropped 20% for some grade levels since the start of the pandemic.
If the current plan is approved, around 15% of students would need to test at proficient.
“We have to be real about where the numbers are. We have to look at what the baseline is now,” Shadd said.
The board stressed at the meeting that this plan is not their educational goal for students.
“We all would like to see outcomes higher,” Shadd said. “It’s not the overall plan for the district. We have high standards for our students. This is a plan to remove us from academic distress.”