Answers to key questions about a possible takeover of Dayton schools

EDITOR’S NOTE: As part of our initiative, The Path Forward, the Dayton Daily News sent a reporter to Youngstown to see what might happen if DPS gets put under the state thumb next year, which will occur if the district records another overall grade of F. Go here for that story.


If Dayton Public Schools doesn’t improve its grade on next year’s state report card, state law mandates it be taken over by the state. Here are answers to common questions about how that works.

What does Dayton Public Schools have to do to avoid state takeover?

Under state law, DPS must bring its grade on next year’s statewide report card – which takes into account numerous variables including student test scores and graduation rate – to a D or better.

What happens under a takeover?

If DPS gets an F on state report cards released in September 2019, a academic distress commission would be appointed within 30 days. The commission’s main responsibility is hiring a CEO within 60 days and overseeing that person’s performance. The commission also can appoint an “accelerator,” or entity aimed at improving the district’s performance.

Who sits on the academic distress commission?

An ADC has five members. Three are appointed by the Ohio Department of Education and must include a resident of Montgomery County. A fourth is appointed by Dayton’s school board and must be a teacher. The fifth is appointed by the mayor.

What happens to the current school board?

The elected, seven-member school board would continue to exist for four years. After that, a five-member board would be appointed by Dayton’s mayor. The school board would have no control over the operation of the district but would still vote on tax abatements and putting levies on the ballot.

What powers does the CEO have?

The CEO runs the district day-to-day, and gains additional powers as time goes on under takeover. After one year, the CEO can close public school buildings or convert them to charter schools. After two years, the CEO can unilaterally modify union contracts, though pay or benefits cannot be reduced.

How does a district get out of takeover?

To begin the process of transferring back to local control, a district must get a C grade on state report cards. After that, the district must get better than an F for two consecutive years to emerge from takeover.


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