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  Youngstown Gets More Than $88 Million In Grants and Entitlements More Than The Entire Boardman Local School Revenue Stream  
  WITH $148 MILLION IN REVENUE AND UNDER STATE CONTROL, YOUNGSTOWN SCHOOLS STILL FAIL:   August 13, 2020 Edition  
     BY JOHN A. DARNELL JR.
      associate editor
      In 2015, under the provisions of House Bill 70, the Ohio Department of Education (DOE) assumed control of the Youngstown City School District. HB 70 allowed a state takeover of the district because Youngstown schools attained the dubious distinction of at least three, straight years with failed report cards and failure to meet state standards.
      In the absence of local control, and under ‘state control,’ the Youngstown City Schools are still regarded as among the worst public school districts in Ohio.
      The state takeover stripped the elected Youngstown School Board of power, and put control of the district in the hands of an appointed commission and CEO. The CEO can close school buildings or, if the schools don’t show improvement, turn them over to a charter school operator. The local school board can still put levies on the ballot, but it has no oversight or say over how the district spends its money.
      Youngstown first appointed CEO, Krish Mohip (who elevated his pay without board approval) from about $105,000 to $170,000 a year) noted when he stepped into his dictatorial role, “What I’ve learned is that when you’re faced with failure such as Youngstown has you should not fear what (a takeover) can do for a district, because at the heart of it it’s really about putting children first.”
      What has the takeover done for the Youngstown City School District and its children? They are still failing.
      The city school district’s new CEO, Justin Jennings says “I still believe, however, that the district is moving in the right direction. We have strong educators, both in the classroom and in administration, who are working hard to help our scholars improve and to make sure we are preparing them for life after high school.” (From the CEO’s Corner).
      But the report cards reflect a totally different picture---For example, on its most recent state report card, the Youngstown City Schools attained an ‘F’ when graded by the Ohio Department of Education on how students are prepared for success.
      Boardman Local Schools didn’t fare much better, attaining a grade of ‘D’ on the state report card that uses its standards (not local standards) when considering how well-prepared students are for future opportunities.
      Speaking about Youngstown City School District’s failing 2016-17 report card, Mohip said the report card “shows that we have a long way to go.”
      Using state audits and Cupp reports, there is widespread disparity between the Youngstown City Schools and the Boardman Local School District.
      For example, at the end of Fiscal Year 2019, the city schools’ annual revenue is $148.637 million, while Boardman Local School District’s annual revenue is reported at $53.316 million, according to the audit reports.
      Some $88.370 million of the total revenues of Youngstown School District’s annual revenue comes from “grants and entitlements,”---that much money in a school district that has only 1200 more students than the Boardman Local School System.
      Boardman Local Schools receive about $14.3 million in subsidies, according to its audit report for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2019.
      According to the Cupp Report, there are 9,715 school-age children living within the boundaries of the Youngstown City School District. Of that total, only 5,264 students are enrolled in the city schools.
      Boardman Local School District’s enrollment, according to the Cupp Report is 4,044 students.
      While Boardman Local Schools receive $3,388 per pupil in state funding, the Youngstown City Schools receive $19,016 per pupil in state funding, according to the Cupp Report.
      When compared with Boardman Local Schools, the Youngstown City School District appears top-heavy with administrators.
      According to the Cupp Report, there are 28 administrative personnel employed in Boardman Local Schools and their average annual salary is $72,055. Using the same standard of comparison, there are 136 administrators in the Youngstown City Schools, and their annual average salary is $74,213.
      More than 60 per cent of the teaching staff at Boardman Local Schools have ten-plus years of teaching experience, according to the Cupp Report. Only 28 per cent of the teaching staff at Youngstown City Schools have ten or more years of experience.
      Those figures are also reflected in the average teaching salaries of the two school districts. Boardman Local Schools average teachers’ salary is $59,3322 a year; while annual pay for teachers in the Youngstown City Schools is $47,077, despite the fact that total revenue per pupil in Boardman Local Schools is $12,457, and is more than double that in Youngstown schools, where the average annual per pupil revenue is $26,292.
      Local funding received from property taxes paid to Boardman Local Schools is reported at some $32.897 million, according to an audit report for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2019. Using the same audit report, Youngstown City Schools collect only $25.395 million a year in property taxes.
      The dichotomy between Youngstown City Schools and the Boardman Local School District is readily apparent---In Boardman Local Schools there remains local control, fewer administrators, better teaching salaries, and passing grades on the laborious state report cards.
      In Youngstown City Schools, there is no local control, a lot more administrators, lower teaching salaries and continuous failing report cards.
 
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