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Austintown board member criticizes district in wake of award

Published: Thu, May 30, 2013 @ 12:07 a.m.




Austintown schools have been awarded an “Excellence with Distinction” rating by the Ohio Department of Education.

Deborah Cain, District 8 representative of the Ohio Department of Education, presented the award at Wednesday’s board of education meeting.

“This means they have met the requirements and exceeded them,” Cain said. “It’s the highest you can achieve. It’s a big honor.”

Schools districts earn the distinction based on several criteria, including high standards in curriculum, attendance and graduation rates. The achievement is not easily attained, Cain said.

“There are 613 school districts in the state of Ohio. I’d say 10, maybe 15 percent of them would achieve that. So it’s a big deal,” she said.

At the meeting, board member Harold Porter voiced concern over the postcards sent to local homes informing families of the award.

“I know I harp and unsuccessfully complain about student fees,” said Porter, holding up the mailer, “but this is why I do not pay my student fees.”

Porter said that 15,000 postcards were mailed out, and he estimates that postage cost the district about $3,000.

“I know our schools are excellent, and I don’t need some stupid standardized test from the state of Ohio telling me they are, let alone a waste of money postcard,” he added.

Porter continued to list grievances as part of the closing remarks, adding that the “interview process on hiring principals is extremely flawed.”

“All we have done is follow board policy,” replied schools Superintendent Vincent Colaluca. “I can assure the community of Austintown... there was nothing done inappropriately.”

Porter criticized Colaluca’s handling of an unrelated issue, addressing him personally.

“Listen to your staff ... do not jam this down their throats,” Porter said.

Colaluca noted that it is against the board member code of ethics to criticize employees publicly.


1AustintownParent(9 comments)posted 3 years, 1 month ago

Thank you Mr. Porter. I thought the exact same thing when that postcard arrived at my home. Waste of money on printing and on postage. Yet I'm sure there's another levy on the way.

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2busyman(239 comments)posted 3 years, 1 month ago

I thiink this Porter is an idiot. If they did not communicate this information some people would be offended. All this guy does is complain about the fees. How did he get his money to run his campaign? Everytime I watch the school board meeting on the local channel I laugh at this guy. It reminds me of the Big Bag Theory. Doctor, Doctor, Doctor, Idiot. He is against everything except giving the workers more money and benefits, all of which come on the backs of the taxpayers money. I can not wait until the next board election so the fine residents of Austintown can vote this guy out.

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31970mach1(1005 comments)posted 3 years, 1 month ago

$3,000 in postage for something that could have been done for free through a media press release!?!?!?!?! That is appalling.

I hope someone from the media will look into how much the mailings actually did cost.

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4Old_School(39 comments)posted 3 years, 1 month ago

Media press release? Like people really read the media anymore. This Porter is a real piece of work...and a POS as well!

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5msweetwood(179 comments)posted 3 years, 1 month ago

And to make sure that nobody read his post, Old_School posted it on a media website where he had just read a media account of a meeting ...

Sheesh ...

But thanks to Old_School for helping maintain Vindy.com as the Valley's No. 1 media site...

Mark Sweetwood
Managing Editor

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6DaleSFleischer(5 comments)posted 3 years, 1 month ago

It has been over a year since the parents and employees asked for the resignation of Mr. Colaluca. There has been "NO" concern regarding the safety of the students regarding the busing. I have been a member of the Austintown Community for 51 years, a 1980 graduate of Fitch and both my children graduate from Fitch. I have never seen such mismanagement as it is now. They only one that has the ba... to stand up to Mr. Colaluca is Harold Porter. There are two spots opening up on the Board and we all need to think about a change in our Board. Maybe then somehting will be done about this dictator. He needs to resign or be terminated for misappropriation of funds. Spending $3000 to send out post cards and what about all the IPADs that were bought for "His Administrators" One parent is currently going through the Attorney General because the board will not give the information he requested that is suppose to be open to the public. We as tax payers pay the superintendent and our voice needs to be heard. Vince Colaluca needs to go and go NOW!

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7Old_School(39 comments)posted 3 years, 1 month ago

@Mark Sweetwood: I'm certain that your reading demographics have drastically changed and that young parents are not as well informed. I myself am an avid news reader. Heck, I would even read your blog...that is if you kept it up. Also, a major upgrade to this web site wouldn't hurt either!
Your Welcome! :-)

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8AtownParent(565 comments)posted 3 years, 1 month ago

As a resident, taxpayer and grad of Austintown Schools, I am happy Harold Porter is standing up for the kids, teachers and parents of this school district. He should call out the misappropriations. The school website clearly has the rating posted on it. There was no need to send those out when they don't even supply enough books for children to take home. And do not get me started on that fee. That fee is reduced or free for half of the children in the district, why are the parents who have jobs being punished. It obviously is not that important since the district is NOT reimbursed by the state for that fee and over half the kids qualify for a reduction or do not have to pay it at all.

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