Dayton Public Schools likely to avoid state takeover under budget bill moratorium

UPDATE @ 6:24 p.m.: Dayton Public Schools is likely to avoid state takeover this school year, as the two-year budget deal produced by Ohio legislative leaders Tuesday includes a one-year moratorium on those takeovers, according to state Rep. Jim Butler, R-Oakwood.

That budget document is scheduled for vote in the Ohio House and Senate on Wednesday.

There has been broad agreement this year that Ohio’s current takeover model for the lowest-scoring school districts needs changes. But the House and Senate had been unable to decide what form that should take.

The House overwhelmingly passed a bill that would have eliminated all state takeovers, but the Senate did not agree – at first considering a tweaked takeover plan, then taking all takeover language out of its version of the bill.

If the legislature had not put the moratorium in the budget, Dayton Public Schools would have been the only district in the state at risk of a September 2019 takeover if its overall report card grade stayed an “F.”

Butler, who served on the budget conference committee, said the moratorium in the budget bill continues through Oct. 1, 2020.

Tuesday’s move means the legislature will work on a stand-alone bill this summer or fall to reach a solution on whether the state’s lowest-scoring school districts should keep total local control of their turnaround efforts, or should have some form of state oversight.

Three northeast Ohio school districts have been taken over by Academic Distress Commissions in the past few years.

Senate Education Committee chairwoman Peggy Lehner, R-Kettering, said any future takeover program would need better local involvement than the ADC system has had. She said it would also need a series of smaller benchmarks to indicate whether a district is moving in the right direction, rather than broad test scores and report card grades.


Butler, a member of the conference committee revealing Ohio’s two-year budget, said the bill includes a moratorium on new state takeovers of school until Oct. 1, 2020.

This means that Dayton Schools that were at risk of the takeover will now maintain local control this fall.

This a developing story.

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