Merge school districts or die

Logo for Dayton Trotwood Madison Northridge Jefferson Public School DistrictDayton and Jefferson Township schools are on takeover watch and Trotwood just dodged a bullet. All are currently struggling to keep students and relevancy as vouchers and open enrollment at neighboring districts are going to continue to suck students (and the accompanying state funding) away.

Trotwood is adding open enrollment this year, which will suck kids out of Dayton. But, open enrollment won’t mean unlimited enrollment- meaning the phenom athletes trying to escape Dayton’s major screw-ups won’t be allowed in unless they have academics to go along with their athletic prowess.

Jefferson Twp schools shouldn’t be allowed to exist- with less students than a single DPS elementary school (not that Trotwood is that big, their 2800 or so students is about what was in my 3 year high school growing up).  If Ohio Lt. Governor John Husted was serious about government efficiency- he’d be the first to stop the insanity of 608 school districts for 88 counties, although ones like Oakwood would never allow a forced merger. The critical difference is that Oakwood is performing (which goes hand in hand with being poverty free) and Dayton, Trotwood and Jefferson are poverty ridden and failing.

By merging the three districts, the state clock on takeover should be reset. Put Trotwood Superintendent Tyrone Olverson in charge of the district, let Libbie Lolli run curriculum, and have Richard Gates of Jefferson take over remedial education. With the elimination of three treasurers, duplication of HR, Reporting, Athletic directors, operations managers, payroll systems, purchasing departments, etc- money will finally be found to fund programs like band that make kids interested in school- and transportation for all kids, to all buildings (something Trotwood does and Dayton fails at).

It also solves Trotwoods eviction from the GWOC as they would join the City League- and DPS would gain a swimming pool for a real swim team.

The new district would still probably have to mothball some schools, and some staff would have to find new positions within the blended organization or cut loose. Some pay scales would have to be adjusted since Trotwood pays teachers better than DPS and DPS pays administrators better than anyone.

In the end, it might not help fix the problems that come with poverty at all, but it most certainly will force more money to direct instruction and student welfare than anything else that’s been tried so far.

The only remaining question is should the Northridge Schools with it’s poor scores and measly 1340 students, also be included?

 

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