Failure of district’s levy renewal would mean loss of $5.3 million


By Denise Dick

denise_dick@vindy.com

Youngstown

If the 10.4-mill city school district renewal levy doesn’t pass, the district would lose about $5.3 million.

“You would lose half of it this year,” said Mark Paprocki, a fiscal monitor hired by the Academic Distress Commission, to work in the district treasurer’s office until a permanent treasurer is appointed. “You can make it through this year because you have a strong carry-over balance.”

The four-year measure, originally passed in 2008, expires at the end of this year.

Voters are being asked Nov. 6 to renew the levy.

In other business, Marcia Haire-Ellis, one of three board members who attended a Council of Urban Boards of Education conference earlier this month in Atlanta, recommended that the district develop a regular procedure to review data, such as test results and enrollment, broken down into different groups.

That allows the school board and district personnel to spot trends and patterns, she said.

The importance of data broken down into different components was one of the topics at the conference.

Another was suspensions and the fact that black students are 3.5 times more likely to be suspended or expelled than white students. Students who are suspended are three times more likely to drop out of school, and those who drop out are more likely to end up being incarcerated, she said.

Board member Andrea Mahone, who also attended the conference, said some of the sessions she attended dealt with addressing the personal and emotional issues facing students. When the family member of a student dies, for example, someone in the district could send a card or note, expressing condolences.

She also suggested offering Ohio Graduation Test tutoring to students during their lunch or study halls. When it’s offered after school, many students don’t go, Mahone said.

The board also unanimously voted to hire Kimberly A. Davis of Braceville, who formerly worked at the Mahoning County Educational Service Center, as executive director of teaching and learning. The annual salary is $85,854, and Davis will earn $59,588 this school year, the prorated amount.

She replaces Beverly Schumann, who retired.

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