TRUMBULL COUNTY TCTC board OKs Niles, Weathersfield districts

Niles decided late last year not to sign a new five-year contract with the James center compact.
CHAMPION -- Niles and Weathersfield schools will become part of Trumbull Career and Technical Center, barring any challenges.
TCTC's board approved resolutions Thursday accepting the two districts. Both school districts formerly were part of the Gordon D. James Career Center compact in Lordstown.
Lordstown, McDonald and Howland, the other districts in the compact, haven't moved on their plans. Lordstown is the fiscal agent for the career center. Niles sent the most students to the James center and paid the most in tuition.
Niles decided late last year not to sign a new five-year contract with the compact. The other districts are to decide how to meet state requirements of providing career and technical education to high school juniors and seniors. The future of the James center appears bleak.
Districts that are part of TCTC don't pay tuition, but property owners in participating districts pay about 2 mills in property taxes that goes to TCTC.
What's next: TCTC Treasurer Gary Ghizzoni said the resolutions to accept the districts must be advertised in the newspaper. Voters in the districts have 60 days to challenge the move via referendum.
"If there is no referendum when the 61 days is over, the plan goes to the state," Ghizzoni said.
When districts change the way they provide career and technical education, they must submit a plan to the Ohio Department of Education for approval.
"We don't know how long that will take," the treasurer said. "We're hoping it's quick, but we're going to operate as if those kids are coming here."
The addition of Niles and Weathersfield brings to 17 the number of districts participating in TCTC. The districts would gain a seat each on the TCTC board after the state approves the moves.
Ghizzoni said the influx of additional students isn't expected to cause problems.
"This building was originally built for 1,200 students and we're well under that right now," he said.

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