The district plans to have informational meetings to explain the changes in cost
By MARY SMITH
MINERAL RIDGE -- Weathersfield Board of Education voted Wednesday to join the Trumbull Career and Technical Center in Champion.
Weathersfield was one of five schools in a compact that sent vocational students to the Gordon D. James Career Center in Lordstown for the past 25 years.
The TCTC board must vote on accepting Weathersfield students. That could come Feb. 7 or Feb. 14, Weathersfield Superintendent Rocco Adduci said. Students would begin classes there in the fall.
Imposing tax: The decision to join the TCTC also means that district residents would pay a 2-mill tax levy, which would generate about $205,620 to pay for students to attend the school.
While districts who participate in a compact such as the James center pay tuition on a per-pupil basis, the levy affects residents of all districts who send students to the county vocational school.
Collection in Weathersfield would not begin until February 2003.
The district is now paying $298,000 to educate vocational students at the James center.
Niles, the largest district in the GDJC compact, recently withdrew, leaving Weathersfield, McDonald, Howland and Lordstown.
Since Niles paid the most tuition into the compact, the remaining four schools were forced to re-evaluate their participation.
Superintendents of the five schools met with Ohio Department of Education representatives Tuesday in Ashland and talked about long-term options.
Adduci said the state requires that school districts provide vocational education and noted that if the district does not have a plan by October, it could be fined.
There are 25 local students attending classes at GDJC and four or five at TCTC.
Adduci said that if TCTC accepts Weathersfield students, it has agreed to waive an initial entry fee that most other Trumbull County Schools sending students to the center had to pay.
The district plans informational meetings to explain the changes in schools, the cost and how any levies would work.