FUNDING, FEDERAL LEAGUE, PARENT REPRESENTATION ON SCHOOL BOARD ARE TOPICS
All four candidates for the Boardman Local School Board who will be on the ballot in the Nov. 8 general elections spoke to the Boardman Civic Association at the group’s annual Candidate’s Night event held at the Lariccia Family Center in Boardman Park on Monday night.
Up for election are seats currently held by Mr. Ken Beraduce and Mr. Fred Davis, who face opposition from former school board member Mr. Nik Amstutz and newcomer Mr. Richard Hurska.
Mr. Beraduce, of 5731 Gilbert Dr., is seeking his third term on the school board.
He told those in attendance he serves on the board “for the kids.”
A key issue facing the board, according to Mr. Beraduce, is spending funding responsibly.
The Boardman Local Schools operate on an annual budget of some $45 million, and as Mr. Beraduce noted, “We get little state funding.”
Mr. Beraduce indicated hallmarks of his service on the board are commitment and dedication.
Mr. Davis, of 7968 Spartan Dr., is serving the unexpired term of Dr. Robert DeMarco, who resigned to relocate to Florida. Mr. Davis previously has been elected to three terms on the school board. He also spoke about school funding, saying the board wiped out deficits projected for this year and next by eliminating 26 teaching positions, two administrative positions and three non-teaching jobs.
The action saved the local system more than $3 million, Mr. Davis said.
Mr. Amstutz, of 851 Terraview Dr., sat on the school board from 2006-2009 and stressed the board currently has no members serving who have children in the school system.
“I have two children currently attending Boardman Local Schools and I believe it is important for parents of school children to be represented on the board,” Mr. Amstutz said, adding he is involved in the community, including as a member and past president of the Boardman Booster Club, Boardman Rotary and Four Square Club.
“I have a passion for our community,” Mr. Amstutz said.
Another issue facing the Boardman Local Schools is its membership in the Stark County-based Federal League.
Boardman Local Schools deserted the fabled Steel Valley Conference while Jim Fox was athletic director, (he resigned his position the day after he maneuvered the system into the Fed) and since that time attendance has dwindled at Boardman athletic events.
“I spoke with the parent of a student recently who said if a team plays during the week in Stark County, his child doesn’t get home until 11:00 p.m. That is too late. It is time to get out of the Federal League,” Mr. Amstutz said.
Mr. Hruska, of 467 Oakridge Dr., said he had three, primary reasons to seek a seat on the school board, one of which was very personal---the registration date for kids to enter the local school system.
The current registration date of Aug. 1 forced him to send one of his children to school in Crestview, Mr. Hruska said, suggesting a ‘cutoff date’ of Sept. 31 could better serve the system.
In answer to Mr. Hruska’s concerns’ Mr. Beraduce explained “This is something we run into. There is always someone who won’t be happy with a decision of the school board.”
Mr. Hruska also said he favored ‘open enrollment,’ suggesting “There is money to be made from open enrollment.”
Boardman Local Schools currently only accept tuition students, and as Mr. Beraduce suggested, an open enrollment policy could end up costing the system additional dollars on a per pupil basis, rather than serving as a ‘money maker.’