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Perrysburg school board tells state thanks for delay

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Editor’s note: District Treasurer Pam Harrington will host a public event at Gathering Volumes in Perrysburg on May 11 at 7 p.m. 

The Perrysburg Board of Education thanked Ohio Superintendent Paolo DeMaria and the Ohio Department of Education for delaying the submission of its Every Student Succeeds Act plan, after backlash to the proposed plan prompted a delay in March.

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“This gives us the opportunity to say ‘thank you’ for listening, and also we want to make sure they’re going to continue to listen until the next deadline approaches,” said Tom Hosler, the Perrysburg superintendent of schools.

Much of the public feedback offered did not make it to the final proposal, Mr. Hosler said, highlighting where the state went beyond the federal requirements for testing as an example.

“ESSA says you have to test students, but it’s up to each state to decide and determine what tests,” he said. “One of the things that we said was that we need to make sure we’re not overtesting our students.”

Ohio students take 24 tests, seven more than the federal government requires. Ohio’s proposal did not change the number of tests students took.

The state has until September to submit a plan to comply with the federal law, which passed in December, 2015, with bipartisan support.

Mr. Hosler also presented the board with information about how state funding has not kept up with district growth. Rapidly growing districts have their state-funding growth capped, meaning such districts receive less aid per pupil as growth continues.

Perrysburg schools have added 637 students in the past five years. Ohio’s funding formula would provide Perrysburg schools with roughly $13 million uncapped, but the cap means the district receives $9.3 million from the state.

The Perrysburg schools get about 27 percent of their funding from the state, compared to 46 percent for the average district in Ohio.

“That’s not something you can fit on the postcard,” Mr. Hosler said. “You have to have an ongoing dialogue.”

To continue discussions around school funding, district Treasurer Pam Harrington will host a public event at Gathering Volumes in Perrysburg on May 11 at 7 p.m.

Contact Zack Lemon at: zlemon@theblade.com, 419-724-6282, or on Twitter @zack_lemon.

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