Lawmakers want non-budget approach to school 'takeovers' fix

Ohio State Rep. John Patterson, D-Jefferson, speaks alongside Rep. Bob Cupp, R-Lima as they announce their proposed overhaul of Ohio's school funding formula alongside at the Statehouse in Columbus, Monday, March 25, 2019. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

COLUMBUS (AP) — State lawmakers pushing an overhaul of Ohio's school-funding system say proposals to change how the state takes control of poor-performing districts shouldn't be part of the budget debate.

Rep. John Patterson, a Democrat from Jefferson in northeastern Ohio, says lawmakers working on the issue need more time than the budget debate allows.

Rep. Robert Cupp, a Republican from Lima, says he prefers not to see big policy changes enacted through the state budget process, but rather in their own bills.

Some lawmakers propose reversing a law that shifted operational control of poor-performing Ohio school districts to state-appointed panels and unelected CEOs instead of locally elected boards.

Other lawmakers would leave such districts under state control but prevent more so-called "state takeovers" through such commissions.