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Without levy passage, look for additional cuts in Canfield schools, leaders say

Published: Sun, March 6, 2011 @ 5:30 p.m.

By kristine gill



School officials say voters must pass the district’s May levy to avoid more cuts and layoffs like the ones announced last month.

The school board announced 25 layoffs and the discontinuation of busing for high school students effective Sept. 1 as the first phase of cuts.

Superintendent Dante Zambrini will announce phase two of possible cuts should the May levy fail at the March 16 board meeting.

A committee of more than 30 parents and teacher volunteers met Thursday to start campaigning. The school board has also scheduled four town hall meetings for March and April to inform voters.

“Before it was kind of generalizations,” said Laura Ward, a parent on the committee with two current students. “But people who live in Canfield support the schools and if they know that a ‘no’ vote on the levy will result in these specific cuts, at least they can make an educated vote. We don’t want to put fear into people; we want them to know the consequences.”

Laura’s husband Bob Ward is also a committee member and agreed the cuts have raised more questions among voters.

“It’s made people ask the obvious question: Where has the money gone?,” he said. “The misperception is that it’s a spending problem, but it’s an income problem ... Canfield is one of the most thrifty districts in the state.”

Staff cuts will save an estimated $1.2 million and will be permanent.

Read the full story Monday in The Vindicator and on Vindy.com


1ValleyNative(174 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago

My one friend already lost her job at Canfield due to the cuts, so I don't really see what voting Yes or No will matter. They took her out in the hall during class, told her she was let go and then sent her back in to teach. Merciless.

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2JME(802 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago

Love the scare tactic.

This levy is too high for the current economic times. Zambrini just doesn't get it. He could have gotten a lower levy last Fall, then asked the voters again at some point in the future when the economy is better.

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3motherof3(15 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago

It is not a spending problem. Canfield and Poland both spend the least amount of money per student than any other local school district. Attend a town hall meeting, get the facts. When other districts are getting state money these two districts have to rely on LOCAL money to support their students. If you have a gripe, it should be at the state level. I am tired of the criticims of these two amazing districts. They cannot spend any less. Cut funding for education now... cut property values later. Then,also cut away the success of our children and the future of this country.

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4ValleyNative(174 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago


It also helped that Poland got >$650,000 of ARRA stimulus money in FY 2010. Canfield only got a little over $70,000. Yeah, the Obama stimulus money. So Poland had some money to blow.

The Ohio Auditor of State has the numbers for every single school district in Ohio:


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5JME(802 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago

motherof3, I'm married to a teacher and know way more facts (good and bad) than you do.
The "cut property values" is another classic scare tactic. Do you believe that is the only reason the City of Canfield has high property value?

If the district would ask for a lower amount now, and more later, they could pass this levy. Not much common sense thinking for the school district. In case you haven't noticed, taxpayers aren't very happy these days.

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6JME(802 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago


Was that part of the Obama education stimulus which required teacher evaluations? Which most teacher unions didn't agree to?

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7ValleyNative(174 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago


Not sure on that. I am an auditor, so I know about how much (or little) local districts received in ARRA money. Of course, since each and every district has to, by law, submit a 5 Year Forecast, this money is not projected to keep coming in forever. What that means is that the ARRA money helped many districts keep teachers employed for this year (and 2012, which will also receive ARRA money), but beyond that, it's anyone's guess.

I don't have all the answers. And I won't blow my horn as if I do. But when I hear that a place like Poland only gets local help (see Motherof3's post), I just have to point out the federal ARRA money. That's all.

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8JME(802 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago


Thank you for the explanation.
I cannot recall exactly Obama's program, but in exchange for school districts receiving money, the teachers have to be evaluated, which I believe each district would develope it's own evaluation policy.
As you could imagine, many school districts had to turn down the program because the teacher's union didn't agree to the evaluation requirement.

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9JME(802 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago

Falcon, I agree.
The union brothers/sisters wouldn't take a cut to save one of their own, let alone the taxpayers paying their salary.

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10candystriper(575 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago


shows homes in Canfield have depreciated 19.7% over the last 5 years while Poland has depreciated 3%...not sure if you can trust the numbers but it is interesting...look at the industrial town of Rochester,NY...

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11northlimadawg(7 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago

South Range Schools are going to have the same type of meeting open to the public this week to discuss cuts coming and other options.

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12INTEL(62 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago

Why does a School Superintendent need an assistant... Canfield can save $85,000 dollars a year by eliminating the assistant superintendent... just for starters. . and if Mr. Zambrini cannot do his job they can save $125,000 dollars a year and replace him with someone who will do the same job for a lot less. It was fine when one Superintendent did the job for years prior .. It's not like he has a city like Youngstown to travel across. all the schools are within 7 minutes driving time to each other. What is the average teaches wages in this district. $65,000 a year... for 9 months worth of work.. and a 6 and a half hour work day.
Most teachers are the first ones to drive a foreign car.. they don't even support the American Auto Worker. I think everyone in the school system should take a 12 percent pay cut across the board. before you try and get another tax increase... the school system needs to show us they are trying to do something first.. before they make the tax payers kick in again...

If you want to cut bussing and sports then do it... kids walked long before they had busses.

The only reason they are going to put people door to door is to try and make a case for the school system... and make you feel important and bad at the same time... they will tell you want you want to hear... and after all guess who is schooling them with the BS to tell you...

have a good day


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13INTEL(62 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago

The article says they cut 25 jobs.. and saved 1.2 Million Dollars... do the math... what did each person make a year...I come up with about $40,000 plus a year... and those were menial jobs and teacher helpers... just think if they got serious and really started adjusting peoples jobs and their duties how much they could save... If you can save 1.2 Million Dollars in a scare tatic move.. just think how much you could save be getting serious...

I will be there at your next meeting.. hope you have a lot of answers.. and I dont want to hear the typical answer.. I will get back with you on that one...

have a good day

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14repeaters(313 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago

The board needs to hang a banner at those four townhall meetings with my favorite slogan, 'VOTE TILL YOUR BROKE'. Hey board, what are you going to do when they really are broke?

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15UnionForever(1470 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago

Like all school levies of late, the Canfield levy is not about the kids education, but about continuing the high pay and generous benefits of the school employees. 90% of the budget goes to that. Even in semi-wealthy Canfield, the majority of property taxpayers can no longer afford to pay more and more taxes to support the school employees' lavish lifestyles. Passage of SB5 means new contracts so don't pass the levy now. Vote NO NO NO on all school levies!

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16spinman(70 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago

If school districts like Canfield and Poland were really serious, they would make the employees contribute towards half of the STRS contribution. When you look at salaries you need to add another 14 or 15 percent on top of their base salaries. There was a time when the employee was to contribute half and the district would pick up the other half. That would be a great question for Canfield and Poland superintendents. "How much would the school system save if the employees contributed half of the irSTRS amount like it was intended???" The true answer would be millions. Enough with the scare tactics. They need to do the right thing.

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17spinman(70 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago

Also...the administrators get 24% towards their salaries. thats right unlike the teachers who get 14% and contribute 10%. The administrators such as superintendents and principals and treasurer....etc...get all 24 %. Make sure somebody asks that question at the forum.

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18JME(802 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago

Until SB5 plays out, taxpayers would be foolish to vote yes for a school levy

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19walter_sobchak(2625 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago

The State of Ohio has been under a Supreme Court decree for many years that says school funding be changed in this state so that the reliance on the property tax is not so great. Yet, the legislature has done little than pay it lip service. I will continue to vote no on levy increases until this changes.

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20Realist(62 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago

Let's get a few things straight.

1. The ARRA funds in the majority of school districts was NOT additional dollars. The state just decreased the districts unrestricted and replaced it with ARRA funds. It was smoke and mirrors. This money was used maintain current staffing. Plus the ARRA funds are gone after this school year without replacement so guess what that means - a reduction in state funding and what is the only way to replace those funds - yes a tax levy. The state is the problem by shifting the tax burden onto the property owner.

2. The school districts performance DOES affect property values. When people move (especially with children) whats the first thing they find out - what school system would my child be going to. Why do you think these mansions in the Youngstown City School district are selling for pennies on the dollar?

3. What does what kind of car you drive have to do with anything? Very bitter people here but I will respond with - GM cars are garbage.

4. The state average of personal costs for districts is around 81% not 90%, but what type of business is education? It's people driven, Human beings are the ones teaching your kids, not robots or televisions, it's people. Those people need to be compensated to deal with our kids and guess what OUR kids are not the angels you think they are.

Please become an educated voter and get involved, go to your monthly board meetings, ask questions and listen to the answers. You will find by reading the articles and comments like this one you are not educated.

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21AtownParent(565 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago

2. I have issue with this statement. People do look at schools but truly it is a matter of supply and demand that increase/decrease your property values and the performance of a school district is not near the top when determining the demand for an area. If Youngstown schools were excellent rated and that was the ONLY change in Youngstown, would you still move there for the schools? I highly doubt it.

While a school system is a consideration, crime is a much higher consideration. As are the conditions of the homes, if there are homes in your price range, do they have the square footage you are looking for etc.

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22Realist(62 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago


Let me propose a scenario to you. You have children and are moving to the Boardman area. You have narrowed your choices down to 2 house less than a 1/4 mile apart. House A is beautiful and you love everything about it and is under your budget. House B is newer but not as nice as House A and is a tad bit more than you wanted to spend but you like the neighborhood a little better.

House A goes to Youngstown City Schools
House B goes to Boardman Local Shools

Which do you choose?
Please be honest

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23AtownParent(565 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago

I would chose House A because I can open enroll my kids to many local school systems IF and only IF the reason the neighborhood is liked more is not because it has less crime. I would not move into a higher crime area.

But lets be honest, if you are moving into Boardman Township and end up in Youngstown schools you are living really close to the border and that is not a place I would like to live, and not because the schools, because the crime.

I live in Austintown, we have excellent rated schools now, and I would rather open enroll my kids to Western Reserve schools. Ratings are over rated in my opinion. It is whether the kids happened to have good tests days or bad test days. It doesn't give you a complete picture of what the school system is like. They are so many other variables, and as a parent that is what you look for, not just a state performance rating.

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24Realist(62 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago

Excellent, open enroll your children in a neighboring district. Did you know that open enrolling your kids takes $5,800 away from the district you reside in and you are also putting a burden on the residents of the district that your children are enrolled in. Now guess what happens to those in the educating district - that's right tax levy. Hardly any top of the line school systems can educate your kids for $5,800 a year.

While I agree with you that ratings are overrated, my argument is that if you took the exact same house in the exact same neighborhood with the only difference being one house is in a Canfield Schools district and the other is located in Youngstown School district, the Canfield house would be valued at least 25% more than the Youngstown house.

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25republicanRick(1697 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago

Ohio's elected officials have been court mandated for over 15 years to fix our school funding, with absolutely nothing done.
BUT, our state reps passed a new Keno game and the equipment was up and running in every bar WITHIN 3 MONTHS!!

That's why we Kasich taking drastic steps to fix our broken government.

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26AtownParent(565 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago

Look at the housing division off of Tippy/Meridan by Rite Aid. Those are Boardman Twp/Canfield Schools and Youngstown City yet they are all valued the same. Why, not because of the school, but because of the location.

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27ysupenguins_com(108 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago

I grew up in Canfield, and went to school there. Best academics in the state, and mediocre sports. I do not even recognize the town now. Went the town expanded ...Boardman came in, Canfield (and the money) moved to Western reserve. Football went up ...academics went down. Then they rammed booze down everyone's throat. Expansion is not always a good thing ...here is your example. Thanks Scrabola.

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28simpleton(33 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago

@ysu...I grew up here too. You're right, it is not the same. Sorry I chose to stay and raise my kids here. Now I'm stuck! No one seems to understand how the school used to be. However, I believe it has EVERYTHING to do with the superintendent and his insane financial decisions and inability to do the job! The people here hate him, with much just cause.

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29ytown1(398 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago

WOW! falconeddy, sound too simple to me, that is why it makes so much sense.

I have been telling Boardman Township the same thing but they insist that is is too complex to fix by simple methods that the private sector uses everyday, they only want to raise taxes and ensure the good life as they know it continues?

Common sense, politics/Public Sector Unions is like Oil and Water. Go figure.

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30ytown1(398 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago

Falconeddy, I do not equate all of this political crap in Dem vs Repub. They are always pitting one against the other, I feel as we implement SB5 it should also effect the basic pay and benefits of the rest of the public people, union or non union, as I have always believed the compensation of Boardman Township, (something I have studied and can comment on with some certainty), non union administrators and staff were always rewarded the same increases and benefits as the unions once the contracts were settled, if you want to call it that. They usually say we cannot come to an agreement an leave it up to an arbitrator, who always seems to agree with the union even if they only find a dime available, they give the unions 8 cents of it. Because they deserve it, and it is there to give them? Politics at it's finest.

We as taxpayers need to get educated and vote out all of the bums that sell us down the river just to get re elected. Then the rest can be negotiated to provide a good quality of life, Not the insanity of benefits we are looking at right now that we could never afford.

One other question, when does a school emergency levy, become a non emergency and the levy goes away? Or do we just forget we had an emergency situation arise and then start working on a solution to address the emergency so the levy can go away? Or do we just continue to approve emergency levies without question until they lower the boom and ask for another really big levy to cover the emergency that was not fixed along with the new emergency that they need to pay for? Just a thought.

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31ytown1(398 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago

R1200GS for one, I am not a resident of Canfield, maybe you can recruit KimKotheimer, he may be looking for a new place to double dip and he is a resident? He is also good buddies with Betras, Zoldan and Calhoun? Some good company there?

I also want to ask what you would do if elected? OH, I know, you would do absolutely nothing, you approve of the fiscal irresponsibility going on all over the valley.

So what if they made promises to these unions (Remember the steel mills and the UAW) that they never could afford to begin with. That is a total lack of understanding what future cost projections should be and plan for them, or they never really cared because they probably were not going to be around and all they ever really care about was give it all to the unions now so they will get them re elected, then worry about how we were going to pay for it later.

How is that for a Gong, R1200GS?

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32ytown1(398 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago

I have to make one retraction though, Brad Calhoun did email me back concerning a link to another thread concerning the Fire Fighters contract vote tonight and he responded that he was going do find out as much as he could before he voted on the Boardman Townships Fire Fighters contract tonight.

I will have to give him a pass on the Good company quote and let him at least make good on his response before I put him in the company of Betras.

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33casper77(136 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago

What is wrong with these dumb Politicians ? They cut our wages ,they send good paying jobs overseas ,then they wonder why there is no money to run the Goverment

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