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Published: 2/23/2002

Perz quits UT council for charter schools

BY SANDRA SVOBODA
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Former state Rep. Sally Perz, the author of Ohio's charter school legislation, resigned from the University of Toledo Charter School Council.

“The time has come,” the Toledo Republican wrote in her resignation letter. “It is a difficult yet necessary move for me to make. It is time for new ideas, commitment, and energy to create even more educational opportunities for Ohio's youth.”

The four - of seven - council members at yesterday's meeting unanimously accepted her resignation. They declined further comment.

Ms. Perz's resignation letter was dated Jan. 7, exactly one month before state Auditor Jim Petro released an audit critical of the Ohio Department of Education's “fragmented and inconsistent oversight” of charter schools.

The department, the university council, and Lucas County Educational Service Center can grant charters in Ohio. The schools are public, with independent boards.

Allison Perz, Sally Perz's daughter who works as a consultant to the council, said her mother's resignation and the audit were not related.

Kim Norris, spokesman for Mr. Petro's office, said the audit was not critical of the university council.

“The audit looked at broader picture issues like transportation, facilities, contracts, training, funding, finance and governance,” she said. “There was nothing about the operation of individual boards.”

In addition to the council, Ms. Perz works as the university's executive director of government relations. When the council formed in 1998, she served as an ex-officio member and later became a voting member.

She joined the university in September, 1999, hired by then-President Vik Kapoor. Ms. Perz was barred by term limits from another run for her Columbus seat. She represented House District 52.

“She's got a lot on her plate, handling a lot of different projects for the [UT] president and involved in a lot of different things at the university, definitely not for lack of love for the charter school movement,” Allison Perz said.

Sally Perz did not return telephone calls from The Blade seeking comment.

The charter school council first met in September, 1998. Two of the seven original members remain: Dr. Marion Boss, a criminal justice professor and associate dean of UT's college of health and human services, and Dick Glowacki, a former university trustee.

Mr. Glowacki has not attended a council meeting since the initial one in September, 1998.

Ms. Perz missed four of the last six council meetings.



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