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Poland schools face loss of up to $1.3M in state aid

Published: Fri, March 11, 2011 @ 12:06 a.m.


Poland Superintendent Dr. Robert Zorn


The basics on the May school levies, including salary figures and benefits:

4.9-mill emergency levy would cost the owner of a $100,000 home $149.65 a year and generate $1.875 million annually for five years. November’s 3.9-mill levy failed 3,943 to 3,198.

3.6-mill renewal emergency levy to generate $1,369,748 annually for five years. Originally passed in 2003.

Average teacher salary: $57,705

Average administrator salary: $75,244

Health-care contributions: employee pays 5 percent of premium, and employer pays 95 percent.

Retirement contributions: employee pays 10 percent of salary, and employer pays

14 percent.

Town Hall Meetings

All meetings begin at 7 p.m.

Wednesday, Union Elementary

March 23, Poland Middle School/McKinley

April 6, Dobbins Elementary

April 13, Poland Seminary High School

Source: Poland Local Schools,

Mahoning County Board of Elections

By Karl Henkel



Poland School District could lose $900,000 to $1.3 million in state aid, schools Superintendent Robert Zorn says.

Zorn told those at the district’s first town-hall meeting Thursday night at North Elementary that those figures are based on information provided in a meeting of Mahoning County superintendents earlier Thursday.

He and Treasurer Donald Stanovcak detailed how the anticipated cuts would affect the district’s budget beginning next year.

Gov. John Kasich is set to reveal his budget Tuesday.

If the state cuts are closer to $1.3 million, more cuts, outside those outlined previously in The Vindicator, could be on the way for the district. The cuts already revealed included eliminating most busing, losing 16 tutors and implementing pay-to-play athletics.

On the May ballot is a 4.9-mill emergency school levy, which would generate $1.875 million annually for five years, as well as a 3.6-mill emergency renewal levy, which would generate $1.36 million annually for five years.

Zorn said more drastic cuts, including loss of 10 teachers, could be necessary. The school board would have to approve the cuts.

Board member Robert Shovlin said the board wasn’t informed in advance of Zorn’s additional proposed cuts, but said after the meeting that they were “very premature.” Shovlin, the lone board member to vote against putting the 4.9-mill levy on the ballot, said he is still waiting to see Kasich’s state budget.

As for teacher cuts, Zorn said he anticipates three high school teachers will retire at the end of the year, of which board member Larry Dinopoulos described as advance-placement, “quality teachers.”

“We’re going to take a hit there as far as education,” Dinopoulos said.

Zorn also reiterated the necessity of a wage freeze. “I can assure you there will be a wage freeze, and it will be for more than one year,” he said.

The superintendent and the board fielded questions from a crowd of about 40, ranging from how much district employees pay for health-insurance premiums to the possibility of open enrollment in the district.

Zorn said open enrollment isn’t on the table.

The next town-hall meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday at Union Elementary, 30 Riverside Drive.


1repeaters(313 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago

Is EVERYBODY ready to take over the state's cuts to schools this year and for every year afterwards? If you think property values are bad now, wait until these school districts take it ALL!! Are you ready in Poland and Canfield for the slumlords to move in and buy up the empty homes? NOW is the time for residents to take back their communities from these greedy, community destructive, self serving, never-got-enough, spend EVERY-PENNEY-THEY-TAKE-IN, school boards. Or if you want, you can VOTE TILL YOUR BROKE! Make sure you have your wallet open when you cast your vote and ask yourself, ' who needs this money more,my family or the school board??'

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2repeaters(313 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago

If your STILL not convinced how badly home owners are going to get screwed....read this.

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3sue(179 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago

WAGE FREEZE? How about a 5% wage REDUCTION. People in the private sector have been brutalized the last 5 years, yet govermnent expects more and more money from private sector workers. It's time for government (local, state & federal) to wake up to the economic reality we have all been dealing with.

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4Realist(62 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago


Unfortunately most people don't care about things like that or the fact that the state has been reducing state funding slowly shifting the tax burden to the property tax payers. All they care about is that educated people that do a job that they couldn't do or would want to do make a nice living. They are envious, they had every opportunity to become an educator but choose a different path and probably regret it.

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

Wage reduction... are you serious? Teachers provide a valuable service, after attaining high levels of continuing education, for a very minimal price. The reason that a bulk % of a school budget goes to teachers is because education is people driven. You need educators to TEACH to the children... they cannot do it themselves or even simply learn from a text. The teacher is the catalyst that allows the learning process to exist. I know plenty of teachers that live very simple lifestyles because their jobs DO NOT afford them any "extras." They are not overpaid; they are fairly paid, and should remain so. Teachers that are making higher salaries have been working for 35 years (and are an exception, not the rule)! Most teachers, in the middle, earn a very reasonable wage. We are lucky, in Poland, to have an AMAZING public school system. Other states (and communities) are not so lucky. We need to support them, even thought the state will not.

Stop bashing teachers. It is because of one that you can write this blog now. The teachers are not the problem, the politics are.

Side note : If you think it is expensive to fund a local public school system through property taxes now, wait until the governor continues to cut funding to local districts. Eventually the governor’s the plan for a privatized educational system will have you begging for the school levies of the past. A school voucher for private education will not cut it, especially if your child is not at the top of the cognitive heap. You will all be begging for your local school districts again! Education for profit is NOT the answer. The only one who will win is the “big wig” executive collecting the profits on the backs of our children’s education. That is our future according to Kasich.

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6spinman(70 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago

Time to get serious. Dwindling enrollment. Increase co-pay to 20%, increase contributions to STRS. Make administrators contribute 10% to 15% towards their STRS. And finally based on enrollment close Poland Union like you did in the 90's. This will save real dollars not soft dollars.

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7sue(179 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago

To: "motherof3"

I do think teachers should agree to a WAGE REDUCTION, but please note, I am not suggesting teachers are overpaid. What I am saying is that government cannot, or at least, should not spend more than it has. To balance the budget schools must either reduce costs or increase revenue. I do not think you can expect the people of the Mahoning Valley (Poland, Canfield, Austintown, etc.) to pay more money, the simple fact of the matter is that people simply don't have it to give. I would suggest that if teachers were required to take a pay cut none of them would quit, because the reality is that there are many young educators would be more than willing to step into their shoes. Unfortunately, this is the new fiscal reality.

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8George412(161 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago

Do whatever it takes to get Kasich out of office. Period. I hope those of you who voted for him are enjoying what you brought down upon yourselves and the rest of us.

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9cambridge(4053 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago

I live in a far away land 20 years in the future. The town I live in faced a 12 million dollar short fall in our school budget.

The choices we faced were closing half the schools and laying off half the teachers or paying to educate the children of our city. We voted for the children.

The school system in our town attracts families and keeps property levels up. The median sales price is well over $500,000 with many homes in the millions. We see the big picture and step up and sacrifice when it's time and reap the rewards of those sacrifices down the line.

You can see the difference in communities where the people are looking towards the future rather than in in rear view mirror.


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10Bigben(1996 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago

jessiedavid-The district doesn't pay for special education tutors -the state does.In fact the school district gets more funding for each special ed child in the district regardless if that funding is spent completely on that particular student.

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11Freeatlast(1991 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago

Tax them . All you hear is how rich and upper class they are in Poland . Why were they getting tax money anyways ??? . I thought tax money was to help the poor and those that need a hand up. I think those in Poland could and should pay their own way and not be living off the tax payers of Ohio. I'm sure the students of some youngstown school could use the money more then some stuck up Poland kid . What say you

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12Bigben(1996 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago

"Side note : If you think it is expensive to fund a local public school system through property taxes now, wait until the governor continues to cut funding to local districts. Eventually the governor’s the plan for a privatized educational system will have you begging for the school levies of the past. A school voucher for private education will not cut it, especially if your child is not at the top of the cognitive heap. You will all be begging for your local school districts again! Education for profit is NOT the answer. The only one who will win is the “big wig” executive collecting the profits on the backs of our children’s education. That is our future according to Kasich. "- - - - - She speaks the truth .Remember you heard it.

Everything is being privatized meaning we are living in a world where corporations own and run everything.You don't even have political voices with your representatives on any level .They are paid by and told by these private organizations with regard to legislative activities.Any money saved will not go into your pockets it will go puff like the banker bailouts.

My personal opinion is it is too late.The Federal Reserve has allowed to operate as in create money out of nothing for far too long which has now along with Free Trade bankrupted the country.

No amount of cutting will ever pay off the interest on our national debt .We are cooked it is over.The solution to this problem will never occur.

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13Bigben(1996 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago

The national government is broke the states are broke and the local governments are broke.The banks and corporations will now begin to swoop in and buy up everything for cheap.

Do you think it was an accident that all these school buildings were built during a time of economic hardship even in many districts that could not afford them .This effects all of us.It just like the variable interest loans that were given to anyone with a pulse were done intentionally.There was careful deregulating that was done.And I have news for you both parties are owned it doesn't matter .

We are suppose to modeled after China.We are suppose to not own anything except debt and servitude.Sorry but the signs have been there for years and many ignored it.Connects the dots it isn't just Poland and Canfield it is all over this state and nation.

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14Bigben(1996 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago

George I agree K is a nightmare but he is just doing what he is told by his Wall street handlers.Chances are if we didn't get a K type this time we would have one soon because that is what the program calls for.It is the program or system that is broke not the underlings who just hear and obey.

K will do his dirty work and a dem will get in next time and play his or her part in implementing the NWO program The process continues with us watching as if viewing the WWF.

That is why I say there is no earthly hope to change it because so many don't know about it or don't have the fortitude to change it.Globalization is hear .Shop your local Walmart and enjoy Free Trade and the Federal Reserves monopoly funny money.Yippie.

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15spinman(70 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago

FalconEddy....Zedaker's daughter in law is a school teacher at Poland High. Why doesnt anybody realize that the administrators are getting 24% of salary contributed to their STRS. They pay nothing towards their retirement. That must change..

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16commyliberal(94 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago

OK. SO we laid off our last governor (Democrat )because he didn't fix things fast enough. Now we have someone who is aiming the car at the ditch...AGAIN! Governor Kasich is a bought and paid for Wall Street goon.

Anyone know why those public pensions are underfunded? Could it be the 4 terms of Republican governors (1991-2007) in Ohio who didn't want to put money into the fund during economic good times or is it the Wall Street bailout when the pension funds lost value as the stock market tanked?

Wake up and face the writing on the wall, the middle class and poor are getting the screws put to us while the rich get richer.

Thank you to our US Supreme Court for the Bush vs Gore and Corporations have a right to buy elections decisions. I can see where we are headed. Should I just put my kids in the company school, move into a company house and buy from the company store now?

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17anon9(2 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago

To Sue - You're right. The teachers probably won't quit their jobs, but let me tell you what else they probably won't do: go in early or stay at work late to help struggling students, spend any time at home preparing meaningful lessons for your children, spend their own hard earned money buying supplies for the classroom OR work around YOUR schedule to conference about your child. Unless you are a teacher or have a teacher in your family, you have no idea what they put into their jobs. Just because you sat in a classroom for years, don't think for one second you know what it takes to be a teacher! There is a reason you people live in areas like Poland and Canfield! If you didn't care about quality education for your children then move to the inner city and maybe you won't have to worry about property value so much! Maybe cut out one dinner out a month and put that money towards the levy....or....wait for it....buy a house you can truly afford!!!
It is the same in every place of employment. You have veteran workers earning high salaries and that throws off the average of the overall salary of employees. These beginning teachers are not making good money at all! If they start cutting the pay, any young person would be a fool to go into teaching. I seriously question what kind of "quality educators" you think you'll attract offering 20-some thousand dollars to start! Maybe these teachers who will lose their jobs are better off staying home with their children anyway. They will save in childcare what they make in a year anyway...and they'll get your tax dollars through unemployment!!!

Freeatlast - I hate to even spend my time commenting on your ridiculous post. However, I encourage you to spend a day visiting the schools in the area. Take a walk into Struthers Elementary and you'll be greeted by a beautiful new building with large classrooms, endless supplies and a flatscreen TV mounted in the lobby. Then go into these "rich, upper class" schools and see what they look like. You'll see real quick what kinds of communities get the government money!

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18spinman(70 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago

To anon9 - you sound like a disgruntled teacher. Easiest degree in college is education. I had 3 roommates in college who graduated with teaching degrees. Went to class 40% of the time. They are now teachers making well over 80k per year.

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19simpleton(33 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago


Give me a freaken break, almost every eacher in Canfield is gone 10 to 15 minutes after the bell rings. If a child is having a hard time they ship them off to the school tutor or send a note home to the parents to help them. If they actually went out of their way I think I would pass out! They make insane salaries and don't do anything worth while. They are using the same lesson plans they created 10 years ago. I have children years apart in age that are doing the same projects that were done five years ago. And for the record, most of the teachers in Canfield, live in Canfield. Because they can afford to. Also, they go out to eat more than I do. Get off your freaken high horse. Teachers are lining up to take those jobs. I'm sure they would take less money too. They like teaching in places like Canfield and Poland because they don't have to worry about gangs, pregnancy and unfed children. The districts are good because of the parents, NOT THE TEACHERS!!

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20Bigben(1996 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago

Jessie -I have dealt with it personally in Boardman. Believe me I know how it works. You have to watch the old general fund game where non used funds from the Federal Government get channeled into something else. You have to study the laws as I have and I'm suer you have to but most don't know these things.

If anything these finds are under utilized.Just as they won't tell you you don't have to have the inoculations for your child you have to do your homework and find out and ask questions.This information doesn't get volunteered.

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21shad998(5 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago

Teachers are making an insane salary...are you kidding. I am a teacher with almost 40 years of service. I have my masters (which cost me over $10,000) plus an additional 30 hours of graduate school. (haven't added up that cost) Both my son and daughter, who have no college degrees and less than 10 years of experience, make more than I do. Now, that is insane.

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22spinman(70 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago

Hey Shad998...what will your monthly pension be with 40 years of services. You have to be making 75k per year with an additional 14% STRS. So your pension will be at least 5k (88% of your salary) per month right and then you also have your health benefits costing very minimal . Your kids must work at GM Lordstown...Right...

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23sue(179 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago

To Anon:

You are missing my point. I am not saying teachers are underpaid, in fact in some respects I think many are underpaid. My question is what do you do when the taxpayer is tapped out? Your response to me and others is "to buy a house I can truly afford." As for me, I am fortunate. I live in a house that I can afford, and in fact, have long since paid off my mortgage. And yes, I do have school aged children. The problem is in these lean economic times many people can't afford more. Not everyone in Poland and Canfield is rich, far from it. Why is that the taxpayers are expected to deal with tough economic times, but school districts are not? (the well has figuratively run dry.) The issue is not whether teachers are greedy and overpaid. (they are not) or hard working and caring (most are)

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24Bigben(1996 comments)posted 5 years, 3 months ago

I'll add my two cents. As I have stated the cuts won't make a bit of difference and none of you will benefit from them in fact it will hurt your communities through folks that would enter into teaching going into other jobs.

But if you insist on leaning try the administration.Take a peak at what these folks make. Many of them just roam hallways with a radio and drink coffee all say.

Teachers work hard - must of them and they put up with a lot of crap now from kids that they didn't have to in the past. No I would look at schools with 3 assistant principals or more, these folks sit in there offices most of the day.


They deal with behavior problems. Well do you need three and 4 of them to do that plus police.You can make an argument for some in the city schools.You can't make that argument in the Burbs.These folks are raking it in and what do they do?

One assistant maybe two should be plenty.Stop sending building principals and superintendents to Columbus on wasteful"vacations " to listen to the bureaucratic private corporation sponsored rant so they can bring it back to the teachers to brainwash the kids with their global dumbing down consensus learning .

Go back to old fashion teaching the facts.Teachers can teach under a tree or in a park pavilion.Do we need all these hangers on who walk around like they are superior to teachers ?

None of this will truly make a dent in our debt because as I have explained in my other posts the debt is from stupid trade policies and the Federal Reserve banking making money with no metal backing it.

But if you still insist on a pound of flesh the administration as explained is where I would cut.

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