Mayor Michael Coleman announced his plan to include the community and national experts to improve the Columbus City School District.
Coleman made the announcement at Columbus City Hall on Friday morning, one day after Columbus Schools Superintendent Gene Harris announced her retirement for the end of the school year.
Coleman said that he has been working closely with Harris throughout her 11-year tenure as superintendent.
"Dr. Harris has reached out to me over the years as she has been superintendent, and over the years as I have served as mayor, I've reached out to her," Coleman said. "Since she first assumed her role as superintendent,
she's assisted and advised me and I've assisted and advised her over time. We've acted on behalf of our young people."
Coleman said that he planned to do more.
"Dr. Harris has asked me to do more to help put our kids first," Coleman said. "Today, I answered that call, and today I put a stake in the ground to begin to address issues facing kids in Columbus. Every child in the city
deserves the opportunity for quality education."
On Friday, Coleman said that he would reach out to national and local experts about how to transform the district.
"I will reach out to education experts both locally and nationally to guide us. I will reach out to community to engage us in a highway," Coleman said. "Educating our children is everyone's responsible, and we must do our
Coleman said that he would continue to work with Harris during the next year and stressed that he had no plans to take over the district.
"Gene Harris left the school district far better than she found it," Coleman said.
City Council President Andrew Ginther said that Harris' departure was an opportunity to reassess and reengage.
Harris, who has been superintendent for the past 11 years, announced her retirement in the midst of a statewide investigation into school attendance reporting.
The superintendent has said that the district did not cheat on its attendance reporting and that she wanted to "right the ship."
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