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Why can’t city government help ailing city schools?

Published: Thu, June 3, 2010 @ 12:00 a.m.

City should help school district

I am somewhat disappoint- ed to know that Wendy Webb is resigning from her position as Youngstown schools superintendent, disappointed because she has done an excellent job under the present circumstances.

She has been constantly criticized by the school board and the media. I understand that the board is the governing body over her position but its members never take blame for anything, neither academic crisis or finances.

How can academic excellence be achieved when so many teachers have been fired or forced into retirement? How can pupils learn with no one to teach them? It appears that everything is about finances; no one is really concerned (although education is supposed to be the Number 1 priority). The federal, state and local governments should be blamed — not the superintendents of school districts.

Evidently the board had in its agenda before the last school board election to fire Dr. Webb.

What is the city doing for the schools? Is it not allowed to contribute financially? If industries can be aided, why not the schools? Our children need quality education.

I would like to thank Miss Webb for being so compassionate and for her endeavors. I’m sure many others thank her. May God bless her.

OLLA L. TATE, Youngstown


1PXGhost(51 comments)posted 5 years, 1 month ago

I couldn't disagree more if I tried.

For Fiscal Year 2009, Youngstown City Schools collected more than 18.9 Million dollars in Local Taxes. They further received more than 85.3 Million dollars from the State of Ohio (combination of taxes, lottery income, federal dollars given to state for edu., etc.), **Plus extra money (Emergency loans, transfers and advances, etc.) of more than 12.9 Million Dollars. **Matter of public record (School treasurer's office)**

Thats MORE THAN 117 MILLION DOLLARS!! AND they spend ALL OF IT each year!!

More than 45.4 Million is Salaries/Wages, More than 18.3 Million on Fringe Benefits, More than 37.8 Million on "Purchased Services", Only 1.6 Million on Supplies and Textbooks, 12.7 Million in repaying "notes" and over 1.2 Million decribed as "other"...

How much more do you want to give this school?! Tossing money at the problem will NEVER solve it!

Good Bye Miss Webb, you expensive underperformer!!

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2UnionForever(1470 comments)posted 5 years, 1 month ago

Wendy Webb "has done an excellent job". What have you been smoking? Probably the same crack that the parents of so many Youngstown kids do every day that leads to their lack of family moral values and a failing school system.

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3northsideperson(365 comments)posted 5 years, 1 month ago

The city can't afford to contribute to the schools, it has its own messes to deal with already.

I don't know if Webb did the best she was capable of, but she certainly didn't have a lot to work with.

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4boardmanneedschange(364 comments)posted 5 years, 1 month ago

She most certainly did not do $100,000.00 a year worth of work.

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5Silence_Dogood(1470 comments)posted 5 years, 1 month ago

Using this number $15,484.38 per student (right or wrong) as a ballpark number and factoring in the results for the average student.Then compare that to the cost and results of the local Catholic schools with a Graduation rate of 99 % and a cost of about $8000 really drives home the point that it is not about money but all about the family to which the child belongs.
Money is not the answer , it never was and never will be.The stark reality is it is the home environment to which these kids belong that will determine thier sucess in life. You cant tax that issue away, you cant regulate that issue away, all you can do is watch this downward spiral unfold before you.

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6PXGhost(51 comments)posted 5 years, 1 month ago

Responding to your first post, Yes. The numbers I provided have aken into account the STATE REQUIRED apportionment of funds for Public Charter Schools. Those are the funds available to the schools controlled entirely by the Youngstown Board of Education.

As far as Parochial's are concerned, the "$60 million" Senator Seitz is referencing is STATE WIDE. Youngstown City Schools is given more than that from the state alone! And before you ask, Yes: my numbers are end results after all deductions (with exception to Bus transportation:: And by STATE LAW they have to provide it).

MORE THAN 117 MILLION DOLLARS and YOUNGSTOWN CITY SCHOOLS (With exception to Youngstown Early College) ARE THE WORST IN THE STATE!! Did you get your money's worth?

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7PXGhost(51 comments)posted 5 years, 1 month ago

Alright. Let's use the numbers you just gave us. Parochial schools get an estimated $900 per student.

Mooney 633 students (2009) = $569,700 State Funding
100% pass OGT & 98% Graduation Rate

Xavier High 1,550 students (2009)= $1,395,000 State Funding
100% pass OGT & 99.5% Graduation Rate

Youngstown won't itemize per school expenditures (only school district wide).

So the 85.3 million devided over the 7,556 student (thanks paulb) is $11,289.04 per student.

East High School 1125 students (2009) = $12,700,170 State Funding
74.2% (barely) pass OGT & 74.2% Graduation Rate.

Your right. Darn those Parochial Schools! How can they take our money and produce results! Close them all so we can end up with more schools like East High School! **sarcasm**

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8PXGhost(51 comments)posted 5 years, 1 month ago


"I can't educate you on school finance on a newspaper discussion board."

I doubt the venue is the problem.

Youngstown City Schools receive almost as much money as EVERY OTHER school district in the County COMBINED, and Yougstown is the WORST IN THE STATE.

Again, the more than 117 MILLION DOLLAR figure I gave you is what Youngstown Traditional Public Schools get. 74.2% graduation rate. Is it worth it?

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9Lifes2Short(3879 comments)posted 5 years, 1 month ago

What did she really do for $100,000.00 a year?

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10PXGhost(51 comments)posted 5 years, 1 month ago

Every other community does what they need to in order to get necessary funding. Every surrounding school system is better than Youngstown's and they do it with LESS. The purpose of the author behind this letter to the editor was to suggest that the city of Youngstown should give the school more money. I've simply pointed out HOW MUCH they really get.

There shouldn't exist a difference of 4 to 12 thousand dollars overall with respect to "per-pupil" cost.

The fact that you justify this just shows that voters like you ENABLE people like Wendy Webb to come in, take a six-figure paycheck and do nothing but ask for more money.

117 MILLION DOLLARS! 74.2% Graduation Rate. Academic Emergency. Worst in the State. Is it worth it?

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11Springman(235 comments)posted 5 years ago

It's too bad that you can't differentiate Youngstown, from some sanitized suburban schools. However, the law recognizes that fact and such districts are entitled to Chapter I, formerly Title I, funding.


Below find the mechanism.

Execution is not automatic and can vary within a district. It is my experience that parents of underperforming students have to sue (try IDEA) to get a better education for their kids. http://idea.ed.gov/

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12havinmysay(155 comments)posted 5 years ago

Ms. Tate, with all due respect, as the top official in the city schools, the buck stops at Ms. Webb. The truth of the matter is that Ms. Webb is grossly unqualified to be superintendent of schools. That is more than clear.

I will, however agree: Someone needs to start calling out the board as well. They are supposed to provide oversight and leadership as well. Judging by the condition of the schools (academically and financially) the board is not doing it's job either.

A school system like Youngstown, in such a troubled city, really need strong, qualified leaders who are able to step outside of the proverbial box and get the job done. There are models of success out there. See what others are doing good and adopt those changes in YSC. If Michelle Rhee can wrestle the D.C. school district under some semblance of success, Youngstown schools can certainly be reformed.

Passing the buck is not going to get children educated or turn the condition of the schools around.

Those at the helm must step up and own the dismal failure known as YSCs and look for comprehensive ways to turn it around.

You are obviously a friend of Ms. Webb's. I give you a A+ in the friendship department. However, Ms. Webb has failed miserably. I hope the parents and tax payers in Youngstown have learned a lesson from Ms. Webb's tenure and force true change in the system.

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