SPRINGFIELD TWP. Springfield Local School District officials remain against a proposed dropout recovery charter school from moving into the township.
During the July 14 Board of Trustees meeting, Springfield Local Board of Education President Dave Hofer spoke in response to trustees passing a zoning text amendment in June that paves the way for Towpath Trail High School.
Hofer read a statement from district Superintendent Chuck Sincere, which read:
"We support quality educational programs for students. Towpath Trail shows low quality for students. Ohio's students deserve great public schools whether they are public schools or taxpayer funded Charter Schools. Springfield Local Schools provide quality education for children each day."
Hofer also read a statement from district Treasurer Chris Adams, citing that in the 2016-17 school year if a child leaves the district, $6,000 leaves the district - and possibly more - in certain circumstances. Last year, the district lost $183,000 to SCOPE Academy. Hofer paraphrased Adam's letter, stating that if people think Towpath is not costing the district money, "they are blowing things from where the sun doesn't shine."
Hofer continued, "What Towpath is doing is giving a situation where a student droped out of school years ago and is no longer in the system and they convince them to come to the school to get a GED. But that is a rare situation. They will be going after students that are 16 to 18 years of age and have little high school credits that are thinking about dropping out."
Hofer said, despite the economic development is important, it is unfortunate that the township trustees have allowed the Towpath Trail School to come into Springfield Township.
"Why would you allow a school that basically has a 19 percent graduation rate establish roots here?" he said. "Last time I checked, anything under 69 percent is failing. It is an unfortunate decision, but we understand how that decision has come to be."
Young said they appreciated the school personnel speaking on the issue. He pointed out that the Springfield District rented a building to SCOPE Academy a charter school.
Hofer said their lease is up next year and they are not renewing it.
Young said the building Towpath School will move to is a "gambling establishment and we were being proposed that again." he also said the school is comitted to $800,000 in improvements to the building.
"I would say (Towpath Trail is) not going to have the rate of graduates as Springfield Schools," Young said. "They may not be candidates for college and they are a troubled group. ... I think it was a decision for us we had to go with. That is just my personnel opinion."
In other business:
n Springfield students Hunter Chapman, Luke Chapman and Jimmy Hurst became members of the Springfield Explorers Post 2465 during the July 14 Board of Trustees meeting. Police Chief Dave Hoover and Sgt. Joe Gaffney swore in the new members.
Gaffney said this is the third year for the program and students and Springfield officers have been very receptive. Students at Springfield Junior or Senior High School, or age appropriate township residents, are welcome to apply to join. The three young men were presented with their name plates and emblems.
Dan Chapman, the father of Hunter and Luke, has been a Springfield firefighter for 30 years. Luke and Hunter's brother, Daniel, is also works for the fire department.
n Road Superintendent Ted Weinsheimer asked residents to call the department at 330-733-3213 if they see potholes on the township roads.
n Sam Ross of the Summit County Engineers office said that the Pontius Road project agreement has been signed and a presconstruction meeting is being set up. The project should begin the first of August and be completed by Sept. 1.
n Trustees accepted a proposal of $10,912.00 from CareWorksComp to offer a potential savings of 40 percent on the townships Worker's Compensation premium. It provides enrollment of Springfield Township in Group Retrospective Rating for the 2017 program year from January 1, 2017, through December 31, 2017.
n The alternative 2017 alternative tax budget was approved and authorized for the Fiscal Officer to file the signed copy of the document with Summit County Fiscal Officer no later than July 20.
n A Resolution declaring the month of August as Kids Month in the County of Summit and encourage the citizens of Summit County to join in this acknowledgment.
n The board accepted the resignation of Parks Operator Daniel Silverstrom, effective July 15, 2016.
n Renewal of Employee Life Insurance Coverage by Anthem Life with no cost increase the year.
n The board read a proclamation in support of Issue 6 which is the renewal levy for the Springfield Local Schools. It read "we urge the citizens to support that levy with their votes on the August 2 election."
n Melway Paving Company was awarded the contract for the Kreiner Road project. That amount will not exceed $17,000 based on the Summit County Engineer's Office review and recommendation. This is a joint funded project between the City of Akron and Springfield Township. The City of Akron's funding share is $10,000 and Springfield Township's funding share is $7,000, with the City of Akron reimbursing Springfield Township when the project is completed.
n A previous motion for the Upper Tuscarawas River Stabilization Grant was rescinded and the agreement terminated with the Ohio EPA. It is being terminated due to budget shortfalls caused by the reduction in the local government funding from the State of Ohio. Trustee Dean Young said the township obtained a grant, but couldn't come up with the local share due to cutbacks in state funding.
"It has affected our general fund," he said. "We have to live within our means and this is one casualty of that."
n The project to open up the Lauer Park bike and pedestrian trail entrance on the south side of the park has been completed by the road department. The trustees hope to dedicate it soon. The park is about 22 acres of woodland with a one-mile trail. The residents in those neighborhoods will be able to access the trail.
n Approved was the purchase of a gas powered sign post driver from REDI Drivers Inc. in an amount not to exceed $2,413.
n Trustees addressed a variety of nuisance abatement issues, including ten properties that were approved for abatement for tall grass and weeds. The board said the abatement amount total of of $2,860 will be applied to the tax duplicates of the properties.
n Volunteer Auxiliary Springfield Police (VASP) Coordinator Linda Lohr spoke about the upcoming Safety Town. It is being held the first two weeks of August for students registered in fall kindergarten. Students must be registered for the program and each session is limited to 25 students.
Trustee Joe DiLauro said he is pissed that people for one, come to the township and tell him what should be done in the community. " I specifically said that I was not in favor of the school going in there, but the vote was for a zoning issue. I am really offended by the treasurer of the school wanting to get on us about the money we are going to lose when he put in his letter that you lost $180,000 to a school that you rented one of your buildings to you."
Hofer said when SCOPE went in the building they were not aware it was going to be a charter school.
Trustee Deborah Davis said she went to the school and talked with children." I was quite amazed that they worked on computers a lot and a teacher was in the room to help anytime it was needed. In talking with them, there is a need. Minimum wage looks good when you are a freshman or sophomore. Time is going to tell."
Announcements: Davis thanked Kerns Florist for the hanging baskets at the gazebo. She also thanked everyone for their participation in Rock the Docks, we would not be able to pull it off with all of those that help.
Ross said the Arlington Road project is beginning. Work will last until November. Sidewalks are being added on the Springfield side.
The next meeting will be at 6 p.m. August 11 at Town Hall, 2469 Canfield Road.