Several hundred people gathered Tuesday night in east Columbus to protest a Missouri grand jury’s decision not to indict police officer Darren Wilson for shooting and killing Michael Brown in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson.
Amendment Could Clear Way For Takeover Of Columbus Schools
As the legislature continues to hammer out the next budget, an amendment to the House version could open the door for a mayoral takeover of Columbus City Schools.
Buried deep in the more than 1,000 page document is a new amendment that would let the state superintendent of schools and a mayor in the districtâ€™s largest municipality appoint an academic distress commission, basically a second and even more-powerful school board.
But only if the district â€œis found by the Auditor of State to have knowingly manipulated student data with evidence of intent to deceive.â€
Columbus remains under investigation by the auditor for what he calls widespread attendance recording scrubbing.
Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman has repeatedly said heâ€™s not orchestrating a takeover of Columbus City Schools. On Wednesday, Coleman’s spokesman Dan Williamson said the mayor does not support the budget amendment and is focused on the meaningful work of the Columbus Education Commission. Williamson said the mayor views this latest development as a distraction.
The new amendment comes ahead of a townhall meeting Wednesday night for residents to talk about concerns over possible changes in the district.