MAHONING COUNTY SCHOOLS Boardman, Poland, Canfield joint forum will target funding

The meeting will focus on information, not campaigning, a community volunteer said.
BOARDMAN -- Three school districts that are asking residents to approve tax increases on the November ballot plan to hold a joint forum on Ohio public school funding issues.
Superintendents in Boardman, Canfield and Poland have agreed to hold the meeting, said Ken Beraduce, who heads a Boardman committee seeking to get that district's levy approved.
Boardman schools are seeking a new 5.9-mill, five-year levy; Canfield schools, a new 6.9-mill, 5-year levy; and Poland schools, a new 3.9-mill, five-year levy. All are operating levies.
Dick Maxwell of the Buckeye Association of School Administrators has been invited to attend the 7 p.m. Oct. 23 meeting at the Boardman High School Performing Arts Center.
Getting information out
Beraduce said the meeting will focus on giving residents information about school funding policies. He said it will not be used for campaigning.
"I don't think anybody understands how school funding works," said Beraduce as he addressed the Boardman board at its meeting Monday.
Beraduce also updated the board on ways the campaign committee is seeking to push the ballot issue, including signs, mailings, endorsements and campaigning at school and community events.
Among the efforts will be an Oct. 27 concert at the high school and a new Web site at
"The continued excellence of Boardman schools is on the line, from the facilities … to education to athletics to the arts," said Atty. Mark A. Huberman, board president. "A school district is always one levy away from a catastrophe."
Huberman said the district has been fortunate, not defeating a levy in 10 years but "all of it becomes academic" if the district can't buy books, keep up with technology or afford high-quality teachers.
Officials have said the Boardman levy, if passed, would generate more than $5 million per year, costing the owner of a $125,000 home about $225 per year.
The last new levy was passed in 1996.
Also on agenda
In other matters:
USuperintendent Don P. Dailey announced that the district and township have received a joint federal Community Oriented Policing Services grant of $125,000 to fund, for three years, a police officer who will spend 75 percent of work time at the two middle schools. Dailey said the officer will address at-risk pupils and serve as an extension of guidance counselors and assistant principals. He hopes the officer will be in place by January. The high school already has an officer whose salary and benefits are funded by the school district.
UThe board revised a policy to now require that student athletes be passing at least five courses to participate in sports. The move puts the policy in line with the rules of the Ohio High School Athletic Association, Dailey said.
UThe board approved a $162,000 contract with Unity Development Co. for paving improvements at the high school. Dailey stressed that the expense comes from capital improvement funds, not general operating funds.

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