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School reopening brings high cost

Published: Mon, June 23, 2014 @ 12:05 a.m.

General fund to pay for Discovery 2 program

By Denise Dick



It will cost more than $900,000 for the city school district to reopen the old Volney Rogers school building as a Discovery School program next year.

The money — $577,000 in personnel and $336,000 in utilities, materials, supplies and equipment — will come from the general fund.

Treasurer James Reinhard said the district can afford it as long as those expenses are offset in other areas, something he says the district has time to devise.

“I hope we get kids to come back” to the district, said Superintendent Connie Hathorn.

More students means more money from the state.

The school, on South Schenley Avenue on the city’s West Side, closed this year as part of a district restructuring plan.

It will reopen next year, though, as Discovery 2 at Volney, a program for third- through eighth-grade students, offering specialty courses in Spanish, engineering/math, visual arts, performing arts, investigative science and creative communications in addition to core curriculum classes.

It’s part of the Youngstown City School District Academic Distress Commission’s plan to offer more choice to students with the belief that if students have a choice in what they study, their achievement will improve.

Discovery at Kirkmere opened this past school year, and Discovery 3 at East is planned for this fall, although that program will be slightly different from the other two, including a career component rather than the art and music pieces.

Richard Atkinson, school board president, expects the board to talk about the costs of reopening the school at this week’s meeting. Board member Michael Murphy, chairman of the finance and business committee, said it’s on the agenda for today’s committee meeting.

Jacqueline Adair, board member, said she wants to know how the school’s reopening will affect the overall district budget.

“We’ve not had an opportunity yet to discuss it either in the finance committee or in the full board for me to decide if I want to go forward with that,” she said.

The costs include iPads, laptops and desktop computers, a dance floor and mirrors for the dance room.

Besides the $577,000 in new personnel costs for Discovery 2, current teachers from other schools also will move to the new school building. The cost of existing personnel who will move to the new building is $690,000, according to a district analysis.


1kensgirl(1062 comments)posted 2 years, 1 month ago

Whatever happened to starting school in kindergarten and just working your way up to 12th grade - the old fashioned way. Why are short cuts and detours made for inner city kids? I just heard today that most inner city kids entering first grade don't even know what a pencil or piece of paper is! Their moms can afford fake nails, tattoos and expensive cell phones but can't buy their kids pen and paper? Speaks volumes for their parenting skills. I guess mom is too busy with her latest boy toy to ever teach her kid how to read and write. It's just learned helplessness . And laziness.

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2Silence_Dogood(1677 comments)posted 2 years, 1 month ago

The very best resource a parent has is the public library, and it's FREE.

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3MaryG(27 comments)posted 2 years, 1 month ago

Yes, it's very frustrating to see this behavior kensgirl but the children are the ones who suffer. We can't abandon a child.

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4steivo(540 comments)posted 2 years, 1 month ago

Just pouring good money after bad money down a bottomless pit. Its not about new schools with fancy new equipment. They should focus their effort on more prison time for law breakers and then education would flourish.

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5steivo(540 comments)posted 2 years, 1 month ago

You really don't get it. So long as kids can make thousands and thousands of dollars selling drugs, they are just not going to be interested in education no matter how good of a job the teachers do to teach them or how new the schools. The teachers can stimulate all they want and the kids only thought is how much money they can make on their next drug deal. The only way is to throw the drug dealers into prison for longer and longer prison sentences. Then the kids will find a way to get an education so that they can land a job.

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