YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Two of the area’s most prominent politicians have formally asked for leadership changes in the Youngstown City Schools, one of whom specifically asked for the resignation of Superintendent Jeremy Batchelor.
In a statement, the school board responded, stating it has no intention of asking that Batchelor resign and that it supports him 100%.
One of the letters came from State Senator Mike Rulli who stated, in part, “My confidence in Superintendent Jeremy Bachelor’s ability to lead…has dwindled, and it is in the best interest of the Youngstown community for him to resign.”
His full statement is below:
The other letter came from State Representative Lauren McNally, who asked board members, “Do you feel confident that the current leadership is best suited to work…toward the best outcomes for Youngstown students? I have serious concerns with whether this is true.”
Her full statement is below:
In response, the school board’s statement read, in part, “Senator Rulli, have you reached out to the Board or Mr. Batchelor to have dialogue? Rep. McNally, have you contacted Mr. Batchelor directly? How do you form an informed decision without ever hearing from both parties? Both letters seem to suggest that you have no faith in our leadership with no substantial reasoning.”
The school board’s full response is below:
“The YCS Board received the letters, and we are not impressed with the support, or lack thereof, that we have received at the state level. Youngstown is currently fighting for our lives against those who have made it their mission to destroy this district.
Rep. McNally informed us that Sen. Rulli will not support the bill she and Rep. Juanita Brent are proposing to demolish the Academic Distress Commission as long as Mr. Jeremy Batchelor is Superintendent. We would like to know how you, Senator Rulli, got to this point?
Have you attempted to call anyone from our negotiating team to get the information right from the people directly involved?
Senator Rulli, have you reached out to the Board or Mr. Batchelor to have dialogue? Rep. McNally, have you contacted Mr. Batchelor directly? How do you form an informed decision without ever hearing from both parties?
As elected officials, you are supposed to put the needs of your constituents above personal preferences. Both letters seem to suggest that you have no faith in our leadership with no substantial reasoning.
At a time when we should be receiving support from our state lawmakers, it seems we are being undermined by those whom we voted into office.
We are currently focusing on getting our scholars and teachers back in the classrooms — that is our number one goal.
So, to answer your question, at this time, we have no intention of firing Mr. Batchelor or asking for his resignation. The Board has complete confidence in our leadership team, and Mr. Batchelor has our support 100%.”
This comes as Youngstown teachers are on strike amid contract negotiations.
Board member Juanita Walker also released the following statement:
“I stand behind the decision that was made when extending and hiring Mr. Batchelor for the job; when I make a decision, I make a decision based on all people and not just a person/s or group. When you look at the strides that have been made and the continuing efforts to bridge the gap that’s been in this district for years, the decision to hire was a good one. He’s a proponent of growth and achievement. His professionalism and understanding of what is needed to tackle the issues that arrive is critical in the climate we see now. Consistency, transparency, and productive leadership(which includes our teachers) are what the district wants and needs, and that’s what we’re trying to do.
An option was given not to strike and continue negotiations until an agreement is made, but it was rejected.”