Terry Glazer, the only board of education member to oppose next week's Toledo Public Schools operating levy, lashed out yesterday at two other board members who called for his resignation.
He refused to quit and said other board members should consider resigning for not insisting on a plan of reform before the levy vote.
Also yesterday, the pro-levy Committee for Schools selected 14 people to serve on a citizens committee on school reform that would meet regularly with the superintendent after the levy vote on Tuesday. The proposed 6.5-mill levy would raise $16 million a year for three years. It would cost the owner of a $50,000 home $99.52 a year in additional property taxes.
The feud between Mr. Glazer and the rest of the five-member board reached its hottest point yet as the vote for the new property levy approaches.
“I have no plans to resign. To ask someone to resign for issues they campaigned on, that's unfair,” Mr. Glazer said. “Maybe the school board members that aren't speaking up should consider resigning.”
Mr. Glazer, who voted in August against placing the levy on the ballot, triggered the current round of board sniping by announcing Monday that he opposes the levy.
Board President Larry Sykes and member David Welch suggested Mr. Glazer resign because of his refusal to support the majority on the levy, as well as other disagreements they have had in the last 10 months.
“I think his actions are harmful and reckless, because I don't see any good justification for coming out against the levy,” Mr. Welch said. “This levy is all about accountability. If you don't give [Superintendent Eugene Sanders] those resources, I guarantee you aren't going to see reform.”
Mr. Sykes said he has not called on Mr. Glazer to resign. However, on Monday, he said Mr. Glazer should consider resigning if he is not happy with the direction of the board or selection of the superintendent.
Mr. Glazer was the only board member to vote against hiring Dr. Sanders in July.
Mr. Sykes said the rest of the board has tried to placate Mr. Glazer. He said the board in June agreed to Mr. Glazer's motion to reinstate about $241,000 worth of extracurricular activities that had been cut from the budget, including the position of adviser to a high school dance team that involved Mr. Glazer's daughter.
Mr. Glazer has acknowledged that his daughter's dance team adviser was one of the positions restored, but said he pushed for the restorations to benefit all high school students.
He said he held off until Monday openly opposing the levy in the hope that the superintendent and the rest of the board would meet his demands for a resolution spelling out the exact reforms that would be accomplished by passing the levy.
Mr. Glazer said his goals include eliminating seniority as the sole basis for teacher transfers, implementing an evaluation process for teachers, and requiring teachers to attend professional development classes.
He contends he is sticking to the platform he was elected on, and other board members who have agreed with him in the past have changed their stance.
Dr. Sanders sought to calm the controversy yesterday by promising to continue meeting with any board member who wants to meet with him. But he insisted the district does have a plan for improvement. Dr. Sanders displayed a thick book titled “Continuous Improvement Plan.”
The district's goal for the renewal of the levy, assuming it passes Tuesday, is to accomplish at least 14 of the 27 indicators of an effective school district as established by the Ohio Department of Education.
Last year, Toledo Public Schools achieved five of the indicators, earning a rating of “academic emergency.” Achieving at least 14 would move Toledo up to the “continuous improvement” category in the state's rankings.
Dr. Sanders and the Toledo levy campaign plan a news conference today to name a high-profile reform oversight group, a commitment Dr. Sanders gave the Toledo Area Chamber of Commerce in exchange for its endorsement.
The first 14 members appointed are Richard Anderson, chairman of The Andersons, Inc.; Jay Black, a vice president for National City Bank; Ron Coughenour, executive secretary of the Toledo area AFL-CIO; Darlene Fisher, trustee of Parents for Public Schools; Lola Glover, executive director of the Coalition for Quality Education; Jodi Gross of the Waite High School area Parent Teacher Organization; Bonita Johnson, Scott High School Parent Teacher Organization president; Dennis Johnson, president of Brooks Insurance; Francine Lawrence, president of the Toledo Federation of Teachers; David McClellan, president of the Toledo Association of Administrative Personnel; William Niehous of Edison Industrial Systems Center; Pat Nicholson, vice chairman of the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority; Olivia Summons, spokeswoman for Sunoco MidAmerica Marketing and Refining; Robert Torres, city youth commissioner, and Cheryl Tyler Folsom, staff representative to the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees.