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State takeover of Lorain Schools begins today

LORAIN — The state academic takeover of Lorain Schools begins today. The names of the five-member Academic Distress Commission will be released at a 3 p.m. news conference at the Charleston Administration Center. Richard Ross, Ohio Department of Education superintendent, will take part in the conference along with Lorain Superintendent Tom Tucker and Tim Williams, Board of Education president.

The commission, which will include two members named by Williams and three by Ross, will oversee academic improvement efforts. The takeover is due to Lorain Schools failing to make “adequate yearly progress,” a federal Department of Education benchmark, for four straight years. Lorain met just one of 26 standards on the annual state report card in 2011-12.

While the commission has the power to hire and fire, establish budgets and privatize, local and state officials said they don’t expect a hostile takeover. They said the commission will work closely with the school board. While the takeover doesn’t mean more money for the impoverished school district, Tucker said last month that he hopes the commission’s endorsement will make it easier to fund improvements.

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