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Mayor Jackson Finds Bipartisan Support for Legislation to Reform Cleveland Schools

Wednesday, March 21, 2012 at 5:52 PM

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Mayor Frank Jackson was at the statehouse in Columbus today to drum up support for a bill that will help revamp the Cleveland Schools. Ideastream’s Michelle Kanu reports four lawmakers have stepped forward as tentative sponsors.

Jackson told legislators and reporters that he has some support for the bill, but needs more.  Standing with him, Ron Amstutz, a Republican Representative from Wooster, said the bipartisan group doesn’t have a complete bill yet, but is getting close.

Amstutz: “I think the stage we’re going into now is the reaching out to the members to bring co-sponsors across the line to stand with us in moving this legislation into the first phase which is introduction, very soon.”

State Senator Nina Turner of Cleveland says the bill is in the Cleveland students’ best interest, and she wants her fellow Democrats to support it, regardless of how it affects their political standing with voters.

Turner: “We must decide whether their future is more important than our political comfort.  We must decide whether their future is more important than our political convenience.”

But even within the bipartisan group, there’s still some hesitation.

Democratic Representative Sandra Williams says she’s 70 percent on board, but still has some big concerns.

Williams: “Most of them center around the collective bargaining process.”

The fourth supporter—Republican Peggy Lehner from the Dayton area—says the group is open to suggestions to make the bill appealing for all lawmakers.

The group will continue debating and tweaking the legislation in a series of meetings later this week. 

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Education, Government/Politics

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