House approves education changes with 'Cleveland Plan'

Jun 13, 2012

The Ohio House has approved an education plan for the City of Cleveland giving Mayor Frank Jackson more power over the school district. It also makes major changes for teacher layoffs and recalls by using an evaluation process instead of strict seniority. State representatives are weighing in.

Republican state Representative Ron Amstutz said, "This is the right response. To every mother, to every father, every grandparent asking for a hand up for their children who need a good school and a good education in Cleveland."

But many Democrats in the Ohio House, like Representative Debbie Phillips, took issue with a provision in the bill that would allow local property tax dollars to be diverted to other schools.

"This is a fundamental philosophical difference in how we would address this issue and there have been some public comments made about this as a possible model, this Cleveland plan as a possible model for other schools in Ohio. So I think we should take this very seriously." said Phillips.

The Democrats say if this model gets expanded statewide, suburban schools that receive less funding from the state would be on the hook for thousands of dollars for each child that attends qualifying charter schools. The senate will take up the house version of the Cleveland Plan today.