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Perrysburg board worried about new rules from the state PDF Print E-mail
Written by PETER KUEBECK | Sentinel Staff Writer   
Tuesday, 26 February 2013 11:33
PERRYSBURG - With many new requirements coming down the pike from the state, there is anxiety in the school district about how teachers will be able to cope.

"The concern that is growing is the fact that we're losing the heart and soul of that teacher, with the kinds of things that are happening in the state and how they're being driven," Superintendent Tom Hosler told the board last week.

What it means to be a classroom teacher, he said, is changing.

"It is all of those things that are converging on that classroom teacher."

Among more than 16 current or oncoming state requirements discussed at the meeting were the State of Ohio's Third Grade Reading Guarantee. Hosler noted that the requirements of the program will cause a rearrangement of staff, not least because only certain teachers will be able to work with students with reading deficiencies. A lack of details as to how the program will operate is also creating difficulties.

"If you're (teaching) K through 4, this is looming large," he said.

Another requirement, the newly standardized Ohio Teacher Evaluation System which will begin next year, is creating "a significant amount of anxiety from staff about how this is being implemented."

"It's changing rapidly in terms of what we have to do." Hosler did say that the uniformity of the system is a step in the right direction, but the evaluations will take an additional six to eight hours per teacher.

"That's a problem."

Oncoming student assessments, which students will be required to take online, are also expected to create logistical issues.

"We have to begin to shift students to doing that on a keyboard."

"My concern is the lack of details," board member Walter Edinger said. "That you're (the district) supposed to be planning for the future, but we'll (the state) tell you what we mean as we figure it out."

He expressed frustration that "the role of a board member has been diminished to following what somebody says who is not in the district," he added.

"Local boards have no authority anymore. All we do is run levies."

In other business, Hosler also discussed some of the funding proposals coming from House Bill 59, the upcoming biennial budget bill. He tackled the recently-announced 25-percent increase in state funding that the district may see if the bill passes as is.

As the model is currently written, districts where property values have fallen, and where enrollments have increased, will receive additional state aid. Both conditions affected Perrysburg.

However, Edinger noted that the increase comes out to only about $400 per student.

"It's not a windfall for Perrysburg. It's better than a cut, which is what we usually get, but it's not a windfall."

In addition, the state has proposed not to fully phase out the tangible personal property tax, meaning Perrysburg will receive $683,000 that it did not budget for.

"That's good news, if it stays," said Treasurer Matt Feasel.

The board also learned that the district received $100,000 from the state's casino allocation in January.

Additionally approved at the meeting were the retirements of high school Athletic Director Ray Pohlman, effective May 1, and of junior high orchestra teacher Philip Smith, effective July 1.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 26 February 2013 11:38

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