BARBERTON: The Board of Education took a proactive step back from Gov. John Kasich’s school funding plan when members unanimously passed a resolution opposing House Bill 59, which will increase the number of publicly funded vouchers for students to attend private or parochial schools.
“As we’ve said time and time again, public education is under attack from Columbus,” board President Joe Stefan said. “It is unfair and we hear that continuously from our community.”
The bill would take money away from “financially beleaguered” public school districts in order to grant vouchers to kindergarten students of households with income less than 200 percent of the federal poverty level.
Once signed, the resolution will be sent to Gov. Kasich and members of the Ohio General Assembly.
Board members also discussed a possible scholarship program for pay-to-participate fees if the $3 million levy fails on May 7.
They had several organizations and persons come forward and offer to pay extracurricular participation fees for specific individuals, so the board will look at scholarship applications that other schools use and decide on a fair approach to the prospect.
“We don’t want to get into a situation where we have a student who is a good athlete and therefore they’re getting paid to participate and the other student who can’t afford it can’t play, so we need to find a way to make it all mesh,” Stefan said.
He added that none of the board members see pay to participate fees going away, considering fees will simply stay the same if the levy passes and double if it fails, so they’re looking at options to even the playing field.