NewsLocal NewsLorain County


Lorain council passes "bickering resolution" to stop school district stalemate

Posted at 11:13 PM, Feb 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-19 23:13:53-05

LORAIN, Ohio — The Lorain City Council passed a resolution, urging all sides in the ongoing city school district power struggle to settle their differences and work together to solve district performance issue.

Lorain Mayor Chase Ritenauer told News 5 the "bickering resolution" was passed by city council with a 10-0 vote, hoping to get the school board, the academic distress commission, and state appointed district CEO David Hardy Jr. communicating toward solutions.

"All the bickering has to stop, because at the end of the day, the students and the children are the ones getting hurt by this," Ritenauer said.

"I think you're seeing the worst side of HB 70, where someone can simply say no Mayor I'm not meeting with you, no school board I'm not providing that information."

Ritenauer said HB 70, giving state appointed CEO's all of the decision making power over failing districts, is hurting districts in state takeover, not helping them.

Ritenauer told News 5 the ongoing battle has caused Lorain Schools to miss a window for getting a critical levy renewal on the May ballot.

"We were hoping, I would love to have seen it on the May ballot, but the window is gone," Ritenauer said.

"It had to be filed by beginning of February."

Ritenauer said the district needs to settle its differences by an Aug. 1 filing deadline, so the levy renewal can be up for a vote in November.

News 5 reached out Lorain CEO Hardy, but we were told he wouldn't be available for comment until Feb. 22.

Meanwhile, Lorain council members, like Angel Arroyo, told News 5 all the school district bickering is causing students, parents and teachers to lose faith in a district that still hasn't been able to shake its failing grade.

"I think it's ridiculous that city council actually had to step in between grown men and women that are in charge of our children," Arroyo said.

"There are a lot of people in our community that are withdrawing their children from the high school, from the elementary."

"There are there a lot of people that are losing trust in even thinking about passing a levy, if it was ever to come up."