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Dayton State School Board Member Not Ready To Fire State Superintendent

Superintendent Richard Ross during the July meeting of the Ohio Board of Education.
Mark Urycki
State Impact Ohio
Superintendent Richard Ross during the July meeting of the Ohio Board of Education.

Ohio’s School Choice Director David Hansen has left his post after admitting he didn’t report some failing charter schools to the state. Now, a group of lawmakers is calling for the Ohio Board of Education to remove State Superintendent Richard Ross from his position.

House Minority Leader Fred Strahorn, of Dayton, says the state’s department of education has suffered a “systemic lack of transparency and accountability.”

“Ohio families deserve to have honest and accountable leadership overseeing the schools that are responsible for educating their children,” Strahorn said in a news release. “I believe the State Board of Education needs to take swift and decisive action by removing the current failed leadership.”

But at least one member of the state’s school board wants an investigation first.

A.J. Wagner has been the Dayton representative on the board for about a year. He says he and his fellow board members shouldn’t claim guilt by association for Superintendent Ross. Wagner wants to look into what happened before making any decisions. He says he’d also like to examine the board’s role when it comes to supervising charter schools.

“How do we handle that? How do either establish better rules or better controls over the superintendent so that these kinds of things just don’t happen? We’re the boss,” he said.

Wagner says he will call for Ross’ resignation if it turns out he knew about Hansen’s actions and did nothing. A spokesperson for the Ohio Department of Education says Ross is "fully committed to continuing his work as State Superintendent."