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Support Lorain City Schools.

Over the past 18 months, Lorain City School district has been subjected to extreme state government overreach in our classrooms. As a result of HB70, a bill passed under the Kasich administration, Lorain was stripped of its right to oversee its local school district. A state appointed ‘CEO’ has shown that he has no interest in engaging and partnering with the community. He’s refused pleas from the Mayor and local Board to meet. He’s refused to respond to public requests and participate in competitive bidding. And he’s refused to provide basic operational and budgetary information to stakeholders and the community.

Time has come for Columbus to take action that will return local control to stakeholders in our community so they may begin to heal. The failed business model started with the takeover of Youngstown and Lorain and has now just added East Cleveland schools with no success. HB70 fails to address root causes of disparities among our state’s public school districts — in particular the underfunding of public schools in marginalized communities.

In order to facilitate a short term solution to this issue, I have signed Lorain City Schools Board President Mark Ballard’s petition that calls for installing Lorain Mayor, Chase Ritenauer, onto the Academic Distress Commission. I ask that my supporters across Lorain County consider signing on as well.

Signed,

Joe Miller

Ohio State Representative, District 56

Letter from President Ballard

Anthony Richardson, the chair of the Academic Distress Commission in Lorain, resigned his post, effective January 21, 2019. The importance of State Superintendent of Public Instruction Paolo DeMaria’s appointment to this position cannot be overstated. The Lorain community is in turmoil over the situation in our schools and we need a leader our citizenry can trust. For that reason, our school board and local government recommend the appointment of Mayor Chase Ritenauer to serve on the Commission.

Since 2012, Mayor Ritenauer has led the Lorain community through some very difficult times and we are in need of his leadership now more than ever as he continually demonstrates his ability to bring the people of Lorain together. 

In collaboration with the board of education and district administration, the mayor is in a unique position to address some of our most urgent needs, including reconnecting our schools and community through strong stakeholder engagement which includes the passage of our Renewal Levy, set to expire at the end of 2019. Over the past eighteen months, our community has reeled over the effects of HB 70 and as a result, our community has polarized, and support for our schools has waned. If we cannot rally our community behind the Lorain City Schools once again, and pass this critical renewal, the challenges we face become even more dire. Without community support and needed funding, our students will suffer from the lack of caring adults and supportive programming they need to succeed. We trust that Mayor Ritenauer can and will bring our community together once again, while playing an important role in continuing the important work of supporting students and families in Lorain.  

We believe this approach can positively rally all members of our community around the Lorain City Schools by establishing healthy collaboration in place of our current divide, and creating a higher degree of local accountability that our community has grown to expect. 

Mark Ballard

Lorain City Schools Board President

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