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School Districts Join To Demand More Local Control; Fewer Mandates

Greater Cincinnati School Advocacy Network

More than 40 southwest Ohio school districts say they're fed up with state and federal intervention.

The newly-formed Greater Cincinnati School Advocacy Network aims to lobby legislators to scale back on unfunded mandates.

Superintendent Gail Kist-Kline of Mason City Schools says schools need more local control.

"We come together advocating for reduction of testing, TPP (tangible personal property tax) and kindergarten readiness changes," Kist-Kline says. 

Milford superintendent Bob Farrell says the network's focus is on returning local control to schools "and letting our local professionals - our teachers - do their job. Specifically, we're going to lobby the legislatures to curtail state testing even more and to eliminate unfunded mandates and state initiatives."

"We intend to engage our communities in understanding the unfunded mandates and how those mandates impact our teaching professionals and our students and our finances," says Farrell. 

The network also wants parents and community members to reach out to their elected officials with the same message.

Nearly two dozen school leaders assembled for a news conference launching the plan. Some of the 'unfunded mandates' they cite include:

The network is combined of 41 school districts in Butler, Clermont, Hamilton and Warren counties.
Edgewood City Schools, Fairfield City Schools, Hamilton City Schools, Lakota Local Schools, Madison Local Schools, Middletown City Schools, Monroe Local Schools, New Miami Local Schools, Ross Local Schools, Talawanda Schools

Batavia Local Schools, Bethel-Tate Local Schools, Goshen Local Schools, Milford Schools, New Richmond Exempted Village School District, West Clermont Local Schools, Williamsburg Local Schools

Cincinnati Public Schools, Deer Park Community City Schools, Finneytown Local Schools, Forest Hills Local Schools, Indian Hill School District, Lockland Local Schools, Loveland City Schools, Madeira City Schools, Mariemont City Schools, Mt. Healthy City Schools, North College Hill City Schools, Northwest Local Schools, Norwood City Schools, Oak Hills Local Schools, Princeton City Schools, Reading Community Schools, St. Bernard-Elmwood Place School District, Southwest Local Schools, Sycamore Community Schools, Three Rivers School District, Wyoming City Schools

Little Miami Schools, Mason City Schools, Springboro Community Schools

Tana Weingartner earned a bachelor's degree in communication from the University of Cincinnati and a master's degree in mass communication from Miami University. Prior to joining Cincinnati Public Radio, she served as news and public affairs producer with WMUB-FM. Ms. Weingartner has earned numerous awards for her reporting, including several Best Reporter awards from the Associated Press and the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists, and a regional Murrow Award. She enjoys snow skiing, soccer and dogs.