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School board approves agreement to end financial control of Head Start program

By Courtney Kerrigan correspondent

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Parents and students arrive Monday at Barberton Head Start on the first day of school. (Mike Cardew/Akron Beacon Journal)

BARBERTON: School board members Monday approved an agreement that would shift financial control of its Head Start program at Decker School to Akron Summit Community Action Inc.

“We are doing that to help save the school district money and focus a little bit more of our funds on K-12,” Superintendent Patti Cleary said.

It will be an easy transition, she said, as the school district will no longer employ Head Start employees after Dec. 31, 2012. The employees’ payroll will be shifted to ASCA.

“It really won’t be any different for the families or the students at the Head Start Center,” she said. “ASCA has a lot more resources, and we think it’s only fair to the city of Barberton to make sure we’re staying within our mission of K-12, but we still want to keep the facility in Barberton.”

The cost-cutting measure is a result of the failure of the operations levy earlier this month.

Board President Dennis Liddle said there is not an updated levy yet, but he hopes to resume discussions shortly.

In other business, the school board also approved a modification to class size effective for the 2012-2013 school year. In K-2, enrollment should not exceed 25 students per teacher, and in grades 3-4, 27 students per teacher.

When enrollment exceeds the size limit, teachers will receive an additional $1,000 per student based on the number of days the student is in the class.

An advancement of local taxes for operation of the school district was also passed.

“We get to a certain point where we have to request to the county that they give us our tax revenue,” Cleary said, “especially if our liquidity of our fund is going down.”

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