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Poland school board approves pay-to-play plan

Published: Mon, April 23, 2012 @ 11:42 p.m.

POLAND — Parents and students in Poland will have to open their wallets a bit wider now that pay-to-participate fees are in place.

The board approved pay to participate for all middle school and high school athletics, as well as a transportation fee for students in marching band, during its board meeting tonight.

The fees are $200 per high-school sport, $100 per middle-school sport and a $75 per-participant fee for marching band, all to begin in the 2012-13 school year.

Board member James Lavorini said he realizes and understands that many staff, students and parents are upset with the board’s decision. He said the pay-to-participate change is only one of many the board will make in coming months.

For the complete story, read Tuesday's Vindicator and Vindy.com


1taxme(361 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

I just can't believe they can't rent out their coliseum to make up for the monies they are loosing from the state cutting and voucher program!

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2Freeatlast(1991 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

Just stop all Sports and save more money .
The time has come for Sport Clubs .

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3taxme(361 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

RJ it's obvious what you preach!
Do some research.

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


While it is true that 75-80% of budgets go towards salaries and benefits but education is a people driven industry. Teachers teach our kids not textbooks. They are the basics.

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5UNCOMMONSENSE(626 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

How about a pay to park for the teachers, say $200? It would cost the average teacher about the cost of a cup of coffee per work day. Come on now, aren't the children worth it???

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6UNCOMMONSENSE(626 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

RJ55...is that the only message you have to preach?

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7keepingitreal(25 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

Unfortunately, Board member Larry Dinopolous has had a vendetta against the athletic department going back 3 years. He attempted to undermine the newly hired AD, has thrown up road blocks to the booster clubs, and has attempted to micromanage the department. Several Board meetings ago, while the district is mired in debt, he spent 35 minutes of a Board meeting micromanaging the proposed hire of a 9th grade baseball coach. It was embarassing.

Larry has put his vendetta of putting the athletic department in its place that he has lost sight of the big picture. People are tapped out, and while they love the Poland teachers, the voters have decided that enough is enough. The teachers' wage and benefit package has to be scaled back to more represent the voters and their fiscal situation.

We have a Board that has become gutless and won't make the hard decisions. Larry is leading them right over the cliff.

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8keepingitreal(25 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

Listen closely on the local TV websites during their reports of last night's Board meeting when Larry states "some of us feel that athletics is an entitlement'. Not the other extracurricular clubs, only athletics. And, he states "some of US". There has not been a groundswell of support for these fees, only certain Board members.

Poland athletics have a budget of 270,000 dollars in an overall schools budget of 18,000,000 dollars, or 0.015 %. These fees, while a hardship on families, will raise about $ 100,000 and will drive quite a few students away from athletics.

Board member Beau Weaver stated that not many people attended the meeting last year when teachers and high school busing were cut. That is because community members understood that, while painful, those cuts were necessary.
BUT, a lot of people showed up last night to voice their displeasure and frustration at imposing fees on extracurricular athletics. A fee that is both punitive and arbitrarily decided on by the Board and their Board leader.

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9ANTIYOUNGSTOWN(253 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

Is pay to play that big of a deal? I see a community with pride. Pride for its people, schools, and especially it`s athletics. Poland blue is everywhere. Go to a girls softball or boys basketball games.
You want the best venues to watch the games.
You want the best teams to compete.
You want the best education system.
You want the best communities to raise your children.
You want Poland to be everything that you hoped and dream of for a family.

But let`s not pay a fee to play a sport/band that is OPTIONAL not mandatory. A sport that is extracurricular, not necessary for graduation.

Well, I guess here`s your options Poland,
Send your children to a private school. Pay $7000 a year.
Send your children to a different school. Move.
Don`t have your children participate in sports or band.

Cuz, I`m doubting the teachers union will open the contract to renegotiate.

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10Realist(62 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago


Your out of your mind if you think teachers make crap money. Beginning teachers do make significantly lower salaries but a teacher with 5-7 years makes a nice living, and it only gets better from there. I support the amounts they are paid (because MOST deserve it) but when someone thinks it's not enough it drives me crazy.

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11BoardmanBranch(42 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

Opening the contracts and renegotiating salaries and insurance benefits is a critical component of getting the public on board to vote for a levy. These teachers have had a pay freeze since September of 2011, their insurance benefits are ridiculous, and they want another levy passed so they can go back to where they were. They took a pay freeze only because the levy failed once.

Do they deserve a decent salary--of course, but so does everyone else who works for a living. The people who pay their salaries can't afford the standard of living these teachers are used to. If they think they can find better paying jobs, by all means go find one.

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12Realist(62 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago


Are you saying that an AVERAGE teacher salary of $58,000.00 for 183 days not including health care and retirement benefits is not a decent salary???????

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13ANTIYOUNGSTOWN(253 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

Some can say a teacher making $58,000 a year is over paid. To them I suggest that if you`re that upset by this perhaps you should quit your job, go back to school for 4 yrs, sub for a few more, and take a position somewhere fearing in the back of your mind that you might be laid off someday because of budget cuts.

Budget cuts that come all because a community who has entrusted you to educate and hopefully positively influence someone as important as their children feel that you aren`t worth the money.

You get what you pay for. If you want teachers with lower pay, then lower your standards.

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14keepingitreal(25 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

You miss the point Antiyoungstown-- it's not whether Poland voters think teachers are over-or-under paid -- it's whether they think they are over-or-under paid compared to them, the voter/taxpayer.

And it's not strictly the pay you have to look at -- it's the benefits and guaranteed pensions. That's when people get mad.

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15UNCOMMONSENSE(626 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

BeD & ANTI, you are the reasons taxpayers are going broke. More money does not guarantee a better teacher.

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16poland21(108 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago


I don't get it. It is okay that there is an Athletic Director who makes in the ballpark of $75k a year plus benefits and insurance, but it is not okay that my child's elementary teacher makes more than $58,000 a year?

Give me a break. You all need to spend a whole day with 25 first graders and teach gym, music, art, and be the lunch monitor. And that is where you are at after 20 years and a master's degree. Then you can decide it they are underpaid.

I spend a hour every few weeks volunteering in the schools and I wouldn't do their jobs for twice what they make.

"Back in the day" teachers were respected and considered community leaders just like policemen and firemen. Now I have no idea why someone would want to go into education and put up with the likes of voters. You would think that at least the parents would support them.

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17ANTIYOUNGSTOWN(253 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

You miss the point Antiyoungstown-- it's not whether Poland voters think teachers are over-or-under paid -- it's whether they think they are over-or-under paid compared to them, the voter/taxpayer.

***So the tax payer is happy as long as the teacher has the same or less benefits than they do?

And it's not strictly the pay you have to look at -- it's the benefits and guaranteed pensions. That's when people get mad.

***Someone OK`d the teachers contract.

BeD & ANTI, you are the reasons taxpayers are going broke.

***Once you deem education not worth spending money on, that`s when the educational system and the community starts to deteriorate. Welcome to Poland, the new Youngstown.

More money does not guarantee a better teacher.

***I agree. But it may guarantee a more qualified one. When you hire someone to work on your house, do you hire the builder with the lowest bid?

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18taxme(361 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

Uncommon. RJ is just ignorant to a few school funding issues. My guess he wants all parents to pay like him instead of taking advantage of our great schools (other than one school system in our valley). Funding issues came to be only after then republican governor Voinavich and the Cleveland Bishop started this voucher crap. It's ballooned into this!

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19mnascar(38 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

If all students have to pay to play what happens to the money from the ticket sales? Does each sport get to keep the money it generates or does it go back into a slush fund? School is hardly somewhere you go for free. If you think that you never had children in school.

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20paul21045(28 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

Vouchers are only available to students in school districts in "Academic Emergency" . . .I do't think the Poland Schools are impacted by students on vouchers leaving to attend alternative schools!

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21FormerRes(39 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

We are the Bulldogs, Mighty Mighty Bulldogs. Everywhere we go People want to know
Who we are
So we tell them.

That being said - make sure there's a hardship clause, because sports = discipline, and keep/save/rescue many a wayward youth from getting into trouble. From Experience.

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22Aware(255 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

All children in this country are entitled to a free education. Taxpayers should not be responsible for extracurricular activities. If a child wants to be in sports (or another activity outside of the classroom), I have no problem with having parents pay. We are only looking at a few hundred dollars here. Even kids in Little League have a 'charge' to play plus costs for uniforms. Kids in HS can easily do fund raisers if need be. It is high time the free ride ends. How interesting that some of these parents act so concerned about potential 'socialism' in this country but expect to have their kids participate for 'free' while they attack others receiving assistance for basics such as food. Spare me.

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23innovators(2 comments)posted 4 years, 2 months ago

Finally! A school board that sees the future!

It's time to recall what the purpose of "school" is about... EDUCATION!

Sports should be separated from school activities ,just like religion or driver training etc.

If one chooses to participate in sports they should pay the full price that it involves.

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