Legislature may ditch takeover proposal for Columbus schools

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The House last month added a provision to the two-year state budget that would allow the state school superintendent and mayor to appoint a five-member “distress commission” to run any district found by the state auditor to have “knowingly manipulated student data with evidence of intent to deceive.”

The Columbus schools are under investigation by the state auditor, the FBI and the Ohio Department of Education over “scrubbing” student attendance data and changing grades to improve the district’s state report cards.

Last week, Reps. Cheryl Grossman, R-Grove City, and Tracy Maxwell Heard, D-Columbus, introduced a bill requiring that a levy go before Columbus voters this fall that would share property-tax dollars with charter schools. It also would give the Columbus mayor the power to sponsor charter schools, and it would create an independent auditor to investigate district operations.

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