Next Tues., Nov. 5, voters will cast their ballots for three seats on the Boardman Board of Education.
Three incumbents, Mark Fulks, Kim Poma and John Landers seek re-election, and also vying for the seats are Vickie Davis and Frank Zetts.
Zetts showed he is not qualified to serve during an appearance at a candidate’s forum sponsored by the Boardman Civic Association.
Davis, a secretary at the Boardman Fire Department, showed she had been involved in several community organizations at the same forum.
The incumbents, particularly Poma and Fulks, showed their knowledge of the school system at the Civic Association forum.
The Boardman Local School faces a host of challenges in the near future, particularly declining enrollment and potential funding problems.
The current school board has also displayed a lack of leadership in addressing the issue of drug education/abuse, by failing to approve a mandatory drug-testing policy.
The use of drugs is so rampant, it would only seem common sense to approve a mandatory drug testing policy, to include testing students who have the privilege of driving to school.
Another issue within the Boardman Local Schools is the decline and fall of its major athletic programs, football and boys basketball, where a revolving door at the top coaching positions never seems to close. Student-athletes have been short-changed, as has the community spirit.
To the best of our knowledge, the campaign for the seats on the school board have not addressed these issues.
That being said, in the best interest of the students, the current make-up of the Boardman Local School Board, that also includes Nik Amstutz and Fred Davis, seems to work well together.
If the issues of declining enrollment, funding, mandatory drug testing, and improved major sports programs are not addressed and moving towards a solution in the next two years, it’s a sure sign Boardman Local Schools need new representation on its school board.
At the moment, it seems best to work with what we’ve got.
It is important to note that charter schools are eating away at the public education in Boardman and throughout Ohio.
Boardman Local Schools have been a statewide leader in organizing forums to get this message out, and our local school board deserves much recognition for their efforts, that to date, seem to have fallen on deaf ears.
It’s just another hurdle public education has to overcome, but it seems few in Columbus are listening.
In addition, the school board has aggressively pursued excellent ratings from the Ohio Department of Education, achieving the designation for 10 of the last dozen years.
Under Gov. John Kasich, who has show a partiality to charter school funding at the expense of quality public education, the rating system has been revised and the Boardman Local Schools have earned a ‘B’ average.
That rating becomes another issue the Boardman Local School Board will have to deal with.