LORDSTOWN Board approves proposal for center

The superintendent will seek resolutions supporting the change from member districts.
LORDSTOWN -- After making some minor language changes, school board members approved a plan to offer open enrollment at the Gordon D. James Career Center.
The state oversight commission, appointed to oversee district finances, is expected to vote on the open-enrollment policy today.
Board members rejected a proposal last month from Superintendent Ray Getz to rescind the district's policy against open enrollment and removed from the agenda a resolution to enact open enrollment at the career center.
Before approving the open-enrollment policy at a special meeting Tuesday, Becky Albrecht, board president, and Roxanna Holton, board member, wanted to include a condition that the board receive resolutions supporting the change from all of the career center compact school boards.
Lordstown is the fiscal agent for the career center compact, which includes Niles, McDonald, Howland and Weathersfield schools. Superintendents from all of the districts have said they support open enrollment at the center as a way to cut costs.
Getz said he doesn't see a problem with getting resolutions from the member school boards, but the requirement in the resolution could prevent the policy from taking effect for the next school year.
"We can't advertise that this has been approved," he said. "It puts us in limbo."
Approval: Board members unanimously approved the resolution. Albrecht then suggested that board members ask Getz to obtain resolutions supporting the change from the other districts by Aug. 28, the first day of classes and address the issue if they don't receive the resolutions. The other members agreed.
Career center programs will be open to students from any other district in the state. The policy gives students from the member districts first opportunity to enroll in center programs. District records show that 238 students from the member district are enrolled in career center programs for next year. There are spots for 272 more students available.
Transportation for students from other districts is the responsibility of the parents.
Provisions: There was one change between the policy proposed by Getz last month and the one passed by the board Tuesday. A provision "ensuring that an appropriate racial balance is maintained in the district schools" was removed from the original proposal.
Board members added a provision that the policy "adhere to all state and federal laws and requirements."
Albrecht said she wanted to ensure the policy language was "clear and concise" before sending it to the commission.

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