Columbus School Board

After obtaining a shocking leaked Columbus City Schools Board of Education strategy document [READ LEAKED DOCUMENT], which details plans to use racial divides to attack opponents of school closures and hide information from taxpayers, members of the community and Columbus City Schools Union leaders sent the following open letter to the Board of Education this morning:

An Open Letter to Columbus City Schools Board of Education Members,

We have obtained a document titled “Taking Control of the Task Force Narrative” (enclosed), dated May 10, 2024. We believe this document to have been presented by current Columbus City Schools Board of Education member Brandon Simmons and shared in at least one private meeting with other Board members. This document outlines a communications strategy for the Board of Education regarding the Superintendent’s Community Facilities Task Force which includes plans to:

  • “Drive a wedge” between certified and classified Board employees with “racial dynamics”
  • Hide all “bad or less than positive” news from the public and “move all negative agenda items to the next meeting”
  • “Change the location last minute” of Board meetings and “Interrupt” speakers, “don’t allow them to use the space”
  • “Bring in loud mechanical equipment if they hold a press conference on our land”
  • “Reward good media outlets” with “priority seating or camera location” and “priority interviews”, “others can wait”
  • Smear critics of the task force, including the Board’s own employees who are members of the Columbus Education Association as “dangerous” and smear the CEA president as “unreasonable”
  • Hold a press conference specifically in the classroom of a Union Representative
  • “Rearrange the speaking order” of Board meetings to make sure that task force critics “listen to and respect the Board”

This plan is abhorrent, vile, corrupt, and beneath the dignity of public officials entrusted with the safety and well-being of nearly 50,000 students and the trust of our community. In addition, this plan contains elements that are blatantly illegal, such as moving Board meetings last minute while the public waits in a different room. The Board must take immediate and decisive action to restore the public’s trust:

  1. Board member Brandon Simmons must immediately resign.
  2. Any other Board of Education member who participated in authoring the document must immediately come forward publicly.
  3. All communications regarding the Task Force by and between Board of Education members and Board employees must be made public for community review, consistent with Ohio Revised Code Section 149 et. Seq.
  4. Remaining Board members must provide immediate public assurances, in writing, that none of the plan’s elements have been, or will be, put into effect in order to avoid the need for further legal action. The undersigned parties have retained legal counsel in this matter.
  5. Recommendations of the Superintendent’s current Community Facilities Task Force must not be adopted by the Board of Education. Once trust in the Board of Education and faith in the transparency of their conduct has been restored, the process of reviewing the Board’s facilities and planning for the future of Columbus City Schools must start over with true community input from all stakeholders.

Only when the above measures have been taken can the public start to regain confidence in a Board of Education that has strayed so far from its own adopted strategic plan of Authentic Engagement of “all stakeholders to ensure that every experience with the district engenders mutual trust, develops quality relationships, and strengthens collective support for the benefit of our students.” Please respond in writing regarding the action items above on or before May 31, 2024. Following these actions to restore confidence and transparency, the undersigned Community Coalition and Labor Union stakeholders stand ready to work with the Board of Education towards a transformation of our District that benefits all members of our school community.


Founded in 2022, the Columbus Education Justice Coalition is a broad-based coalition of parents, educators, students, and community members dedicated to the work of ensuring an equitable and quality public education for all students in Columbus.

 The Columbus Education Association is the Union representing over 4,500 teachers, librarians, nurses, counselors, psychologists, and other education professionals in Columbus City Schools. The Columbus Education Association is a proud affiliate of the Ohio Education Association and the National Education Association.