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Kasich seeks panel to study merging some of Ohio’s 614 school districts

Published: Sun, July 31, 2011 @ 4:21 p.m.

Associated Press


Ohio has 614 school districts, a number that could be in for some subtraction depending on results of a study called for by Gov. John Kasich, a newspaper reported Sunday.

The governor has asked Ohio lawmakers to set up a panel to explore whether money could be saved and the quality of learning could be boosted by consolidating districts, something not done on a grand scale since the 1960s, The Cincinnati Enquirer reported.

The state’s public school systems vary widely in terms of both geographical and student body size. The borders, such as the zigzag lines around the Little Miami district in southwest Ohio, are largely a throwback to the agricultural-based economy of the early 20th century.

“When you look at them, there is no rhyme or reason,” said Little Miami school board president Kym Dunbar. “It would benefit a lot of people if they (state officials) were to look at these borders again.”

Republican State Rep. Peter Beck of Mason, north of Cincinnati, said there might be academic advantages for students if smaller districts were combined with bigger, neighboring ones with more resources. Beck, the chairman of the Ohio House Ways and Means Committee, said mergers also could be used to save taxpayer dollars by reducing the numbers of high-paid district administrators such as superintendents.

Three years ago, the Orrville and Rittman school districts in northeast Ohio’s Wayne County combined their office staffs, and opted to share one superintendent, one treasurer and a number of services. The move, stopping short of a full merger, has saved the districts a combined $300,000 a year, the Enquirer reported.


1adockinthebay(4 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

combine schools good idea in our area saving on the cost of maintance of the buildings BUT combine the boards of education 1 in each county SAVE big bucks. 1 principal from each school could be on the board to represent the school. Cut spending from the top not from the teachers.

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2Freeatlast(1991 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

First ones should be Drugman and Youngstown . Just the same thing now and we could lay off cops trying to stop the sellers coming in to Paradise :)

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3Rockabilly(93 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

I don't understand how larger class sizes could boost the quality of learning.

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4block50(128 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

Isn't that why we have separate school districts....to separate rich from poor...black and white....Latino from everybody else? I'm sure Kasich/Rove and Co. will keep that in mind when making changes for efficiency's sake. Keep in mind that the goal of this administration is to destroy public education so everyone with a vacant store front or a website can start a 'charter school'. Merge Youngstown schools with Poland and watch the fireworks!

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5db(280 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

How about eliminating schools completely and going to computer-based online education system? No more taj mahal school buildings to maintain, no more teachers/principals/administrators, no more busing, no more feeding centers. If a student chooses to not learn; no more welfare/government programs to support him. This initially sounds far-fetched but think about it.

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6300(573 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

I hope Kasich can achieve something in this. School reform has been needed for the last several decades, and the money that would be saved by ridding the system of redundant administrators would save the state hundreds of millions over the next 10 years.

In my opinion, no school should exist where there is less than 100 students in a grade. Every school that has between 100-150 per grade would be examined to see if it'd make sense to consolidate.

To the poster who wondered how larger schools could provide a better education, it's the course options. The small schools push everyone into the same courses, and currently less than 20% of those students will ever get a 4-year degree.

For those espousing home-schooling and 100% computer-based, you're out in left field with those ideas. The success rate for students from those backgrounds is abysmal. Those are the only options that make charter schools appear appealing.

I don't care for Kasich, but I wish him luck in this endeavor.

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7Education_Voter(1173 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

Don't you love the way "tomjoseph" uses a cross for his icon?

Of course, he probably likes to light them up too.

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8300(573 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

So, some think that students could just stay home in front of a computer in order to get their education?

This only works if every household has a member who's unemployed, and is able to sit around the house all day to monitor the kids.

I realize that there are a lot of people who choose to be unemployed here in the Mahoning Valley, but most people still work a job and are productive. Should they quit their jobs because because enough eccentrics who spend their days posting on internet forums believe that public education is a luxury and not really needed?

Anyone who thinks a 100% online option is viable is by definition an idiot (truly, since they've not even thought out how this would play out in reality...the definition of an idiot).

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9Education_Voter(1173 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

You are being silly Geromajor. In states like Colorado, some students have a 1 and a half or two hour bus ride to get to the nearest school. (My friend also lives 3 hours from a fast food place.)

In Ohio, that would be like driving to Cleveland.
Our school districts are right on top of each other.

This would be like combining Lowellville and Poland school districts.
Or like some of the successful combined school districts we already have like South Range and Western Reserve school districts.

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10Education_Voter(1173 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

I think it's great that parents who want to home school are free to do so.

But it's not for everyone. Parents who couldn't get their child to read the summer book list know this.

Children growing up today will probably compete on a global basis. European and Asian countries are not thinking of dropping schools for home learning. There will always be people in America who get in the tournament by staying in school, and others who choose to drop out.

Let them drop out. The remaining kids will focus better.

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