Lorain CEO Responds to Board Criticism

Lorain City Schools CEO David Hardy Jr. answers questions at his March town hall. (Ashton Marra/ideastream)
Lorain City Schools CEO David Hardy Jr. answers questions at his March town hall. (Ashton Marra/ideastream)
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Members of the Lorain Board of Education were presented with two potential paths to remove the district’s CEO earlier this week, but the head of Lorain’s schools said he doesn’t report to the board and doesn't have any legal obligation to attend their meetings. 

Monday, gubernatorial candidate Dennis Kucinich presented members with two potential legal options to get rid of schools’ CEO David Hardy Jr.-- a petitioned referendum by voters or a legal challenge to House Bill 70.

It's that bill that created the Academic Distress Commission and CEO structure to take over failing school districts. Only Lorain and Youngstown schools have fallen under its authority. 

Hardy was hired by an ADC last year and, as prescribed by state law, took over almost all of the local board’s responsibilities.

Since, Lorain Board of Education members have criticized him for not sharing with them vital information they say they need to perform their sole duty, deciding whether or not to place a school levy before voters.

During his monthly town hall meeting Thursday, Hardy did not address the discussion of legal action, but said he’s invited board members to talk about his plans for the district on several occasions and didn’t receive a response.

“I think there are fantastic individuals on the school board who care deeply about their city," he said. "I think the challenges tend to be more adult issues than kid issues and as you can see by things I tend to focus on, when they’re not about kids I don’t pay attention.” 

A lawsuit filed by the Youngstown Board of Education challenging its ADC and CEO system was thrown out by an Ohio judge last year.

The board filed several appeals in the case, but in October, Youngstown CEO Kirsh Mohip announced he would no longer provide the board with the funds to continue to pursue the case. 

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