Congressman Tim Ryan Statement on Youngstown City Schools

Jul 15, 2015 Issues: Education

Washington, DC – Congressman Tim Ryan issued the following statement ahead of Governor Kasich’s signing of Ohio House Bill 70, which includes the amendment that would strip local control from the Youngstown City Schools:

There is no doubt that Youngstown City Schools, like many other school districts in Ohio, are currently struggling under the high rates of poverty and drastic state and federal budget cuts. Youngstown has lost millions of dollars through Governor Kasich’s plan to gut local government funds, the very money that helps keep our neighborhoods safe and free from the things that make educating our kids more difficult.

Instead of focusing on how the State of Ohio can support a community to help improve our public schools, Governor Kasich and the Republican Ohio Legislature rushed this over reaching plan through the legislative process. And furthermore, this debate ignored the most important people in the process – the students, parents and teachers in our community who are most affected and who deserve to have their voices and concerns heard before this plan moves forward. By ignoring these various groups, the Governor has lost the trust of the community.

I have heard from countless families and teachers who are concerned about the future of education here in the Valley. There is no doubt in my mind that public education and public school teachers are the backbone of the American education system and vital to the American economy. Ending public education in Youngstown is not the answer.

This plan will never succeed unless our teachers feel cared about and supported, not blamed for every problem faced by our community; and unless our students feel safe and can learn in a stable environment, where all the adults are working together, not tearing each other apart.

That is why I call upon the State Legislature and Governor Kasich to reconsider.