Tressel responds to secret school meeting allegations
YSU President Jim Tressel spoke out Tuesday about meetings concerning the future of Youngstown City Schools that some have labeled as secret.
21 News asked Tressel about a panel that included him and six other members who are credited with helping formulate state legislation that will allow the appointment of a CEO who will have sweeping powers to reorganize Youngstown's failing city schools.
State Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan called for the resignation of State Superintendent Richard Ross, after a report suggested that minutes taken at meetings showed the superintendent deliberately kept secret the plan to takeover the Youngstown City Schools.
Citing the secrecy allegations, Youngstown School Board President Brenda Kimble went so far as toe say that the board would consider suing the state over the new Youngstown school plan.
Tressel is denying the secrecy claims and said, "Minutes were taken at the meetings. You don't take minutes when you're doing secrets. It never felt to me like it was a secrecy thing."
The meetings themselves were organized by Youngstown-Warren Regional Chamber President Tom Humphries who said he formed the group after Governor Kasich asked him when the community would address the failing school district.
The plan was later passed by legislature and signed by Governor Kasich; however, it was met by resistance from teachers and others who felt they had been left out of the process.
Last week, a group of those disaffected teachers, school board members, and community leaders protested the legislature from the steps of the Board of Education. The group said they wished more members of the community were consulted before such a significant change was made to the school district.
Humphries, like Tressel, maintained that nothing in the meetings was done incorrectly by saying, "Did we do it appropriately and right? Did we have diversity in the room as far as quality of people in the community? Absolutely. Are we proud of what we got done? Yes, we are very proud because we did it for the kids."