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Boardman schools oppose state expansion of voucher program

Published: Mon, April 22, 2013 @ 10:18 p.m.

Boardman schools oppose state expansion of voucher program


The board of education approved a resolution Monday in opposition to two voucher programs included in Gov. John Kasich’s biennial budget.

The proposed budget calls for an expansion of the Educational Choice Scholarship program through two new options.

One option would provide vouchers for private or parochial tuition to any kindergarten student of a family with a household income less than 200 percent of the federal poverty level for the first year of the budget, and expand to include first-grade students the second year.

The second program would offer vouchers to students enrolled in schools that fail to meet the third-grade reading guarantee for two successive years. This guarantee requires that some third-graders be held back if they cannot read at grade level.

The Boardman resolution states that “the operation of the proposed programs would effectively reduce funds from the already financially beleaguered local public school districts, resulting in fewer resources for the education of remaining students.”

Ohio currently has four voucher programs. The resolution also says that about $1 billion is being deducted from public school districts as a result of these four programs and charter school deductions.

The Boardman school district has lost $10.9 million to the voucher program in the last 15 years, said Richard Santilli, treasurer.

“So to open this up even more would be very, very difficult for Boardman schools,” he said.

The district receives from the state, on average, $1,400 per student, board member Kimberly Poma said. For each student who chooses to leave the district through the voucher program the district loses about $8,000. The difference comes from taxpayer dollars, she said.

The district has 230 students who have chosen to attend other schools through the Educational Choice Scholarship program.

“Expansion of it is ridiculous,” Poma said.

The biennial budget has passed through the House. The Senate will now debate it.

The board also approved Timothy Saxton, current principal of Boardman High School, as director of operations. Saxton will fill the position vacated by James Massey last year. Jared Cardillo, assistant principal of the high school, will replace Saxton.


1liberty22(16 comments)posted 3 years ago

So Boardman Schools are more interested in protecting their funding, rather than ensuring reading guarantees for their students?

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2Bman(151 comments)posted 3 years ago

libert22, correct!

Opposition to these types of programs is never from students or familes, but rather the folks who run (and have financial stakes in) the school district. School administrations and teachers' unions hate voucher programs the most because these programs represent a concept that has never appeared in public school systems prior to modern history: accountability!

Rather than correct the problem(s) that result in student departure from the school district, administration and unions chose to attack and over turn the law. Comical. It is clear evidence regarding where both groups' priorities lie. Change the rules before considering to correct the problem in your district.

Should children of failing schools or children of lesser means not have a choice in their educational futures?

Why do these families always chose to utilize a private/parochial school system when they get the chance?

I know everyone reading knows the answers to both these questions. I post them for my own personal pleasure in reading them publicly.

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3mother23(7 comments)posted 3 years ago

I am a parent and I completely oppose the expansion of these vouchers. Our current state legislation is looking to destroy public education under the guise of 'choice means better schools for the children'. In reality, school choice is making a few people VERY rich, and making it harder for the public schools to continue their good work. Unfortunately, once everyone realizes how bad this voucher nonsense is, it will be a lesson learned at the expense of our current young students' education.

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4mother23(7 comments)posted 3 years ago

Also, I have the means to send my children to any school. I did my research and learned that my local public school is hands down the best choice. And yes, it's Boardman.

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5rex(65 comments)posted 3 years ago

Since fewer students never reduce costs in the Boardman schools, I smell another levy..........

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