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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


1Freeatlast(1991 comments)posted 2 years, 5 months ago

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

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2natureman(66 comments)posted 2 years, 5 months ago

I cannot help but feel that the state we are currently in is due to the poor decisions and hiring done by the Poland School Board and administration over the last ten years. As a lifelong Poland resident, I have watched in dismay as the wishes of the residents have gone unheeded. I actually feel sorry for the three professional men board members because they have to deal with all the problems. As a taxpayer and parent I have a right to say that we do not like the way everything in Poland is swept aside or kept hidden. If you want to pass a levy you need to listen to your parents and treat them with respect . By the way, i have always voted for the school levies but with all the current problems i am having second thoughts.

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3Realist(62 comments)posted 2 years, 5 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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4keepingitreal(25 comments)posted 2 years, 5 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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5keepingitreal(25 comments)posted 2 years, 5 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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6Realist(62 comments)posted 2 years, 5 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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7BoardmanBranch(42 comments)posted 2 years, 5 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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8Realist(62 comments)posted 2 years, 5 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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9keepingitreal(25 comments)posted 2 years, 5 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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10poland21(96 comments)posted 2 years, 5 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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11mnascar(36 comments)posted 2 years, 5 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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12paul21045(28 comments)posted 2 years, 5 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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13FormerRes(39 comments)posted 2 years, 5 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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14innovators(2 comments)posted 2 years, 4 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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