- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 26, 2019

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Lawmakers didn’t violate the Ohio Constitution or a procedural rule when they passed a law that shifted control of poor-performing school districts, the state argued in a new filing at the Ohio Supreme Court, which is considering a case challenging the law .

The measure puts operational control of such districts in the hands of unelected CEOs hired by state-appointed academic distress commissions, instead of their locally elected school boards. The version of the bill that contained those changes was pushed through the Legislature in one day in 2015 in a flurry that upset teachers unions and public school supporters.

The school board in Youngstown, the first troubled district affected by the legislation, and school employees’ unions argue the so-called Youngstown Plan violates the constitution by stripping school boards’ authority. They also say lawmakers rushed the changes into legislation about improving schools that was already under consideration, skirting more thorough debate and the “Three Reading Rule” requiring repeated consideration of legislation on different days if a measure has been significantly changed.


TOP STORIES
Franklin Graham calls on nation to pray for Trump as impeachment effort gains speed
Ex-Playboy model sues Tucker Carlson, Fox News
Michael Bloomberg rolls out gun control plan, blames politicians for looking 'the other way'


In a filing Monday, the state and its Department of Education argued those claims aren’t true and that the law should stand.

They said the bill had the same purpose - improving education in failing school districts - throughout the course of the legislative process, was given appropriate consideration, and didn’t remove all powers of the affected school boards.



They also urged the state’s high court to overrule precedent from a previous case and declare that courts can’t review whether a bill complies with the “Three Reading Rule” beyond checking whether legislative journals indicate the House and Senate each considered a measure on three separate days.

“This division of authority is a matter of respect between coordinate branches: just as the legislature must not intrude on the judicial power by supervising the writing of judicial opinions, the courts should not intrude on the legislative power by supervising the writing of the laws,” they wrote.

An appeals court previously sided with the state.

Groups representing Ohio school boards, superintendents, teachers and school business officials had joined the Youngstown board in urging the court to consider the case, as did school boards in Lorain and East Cleveland, two other districts affected by the law.

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide