WEATHERSFIELD SCHOOLS Discussion of TCTC brings out criticism

While the district will pay less for vocational education, the savings will be eaten up by other expenses.
MINERAL RIDGE -- Only two residents attended the second of two informational meetings by the Weathersfield Board of Education to discuss the decision to enroll vocational students ay Trumbull Career and Technical Center in Champion.
Both residents -- John Vogel and Glenn Griffiths -- agreed Tuesday that the real problem is at the state level in Columbus and both blamed inattentive state politicians for not working harder to solve public school financing problems.
When Niles decided in December to pull out of the compact of five Trumbull County schools that made up the Gordon D. James Career Center in Lordstown, the other four school districts -- Weathersfield, McDonald, Lordstown and Howland -- were forced to find an alternative to providing vocational education for their students.
All the districts except Howland, which is sending students to the Ashtabula vocational school, will send their students to TCTC. Public school districts are required by the state to provide vocational education.
Resident's view: Vogel said he thought the Weathersfield board should have worked harder to fight the switch and he was critical of the amount of money spent on vocational education.
He said Weathersfield should have gone to court after Niles voted not to renew its contract with Gordon D. James Career Center.
Residents of school districts who send students to TCTC pay a 2-mill tax levy to support the school, regardless of the number of students attending. The district paid per-student tuition at the James Center.
Two mills in Weathersfield would generate $205,620 for TCTC.
Comment on price: Superintendent Rocco Adduci said Weathersfield and other districts want to see an improvement in TCTC programs or the price should be lowered.
Weathersfield will save about $298,000 in its vocational education costs, but that money will be used to offset huge increases in insurance premiums.
The district has also has seen a $237,000 decrease in personal property collections, which is being reviewed by the Trumbull County Auditor's Office.
The Weathersfield district is projecting a budget deficit by the 2005-06 school year.

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