Tuesday, Jul 17, 2018
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Spencer Township mulls leaving TPS

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    Spencer Township Board of Trustees held a special public meeting Tuesday evening to discuss possibly leaving the Toledo Public Schools district.

    The Blade/Javonte Anderson
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    Spencer Township Board of Trustees held a special public meeting Tuesday evening to discuss possibly leaving the Toledo Public Schools district. From left to right: Dawn McDonald (fiscal officer), Michael Hood (Trustee), Teresa Bettinger (Trustee), and Shawn Valentine (Trustee).

    The Blade/Javonte Anderson
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Spencer Township board of trustees held a special board meeting Tuesday night to gauge the community’s interest in potentially leaving Toledo Public Schools.

Spencer Township students are split between four school districts — TPS, Swanton, Evergreen, and Springfield. An estimated 200 students are attending TPS facilities in Spencer Township, board member Shawn Valentine said.

Spencer Township students living in the TPS boundary attend McTigue Elementary, Hawkins Elementary, and Rogers High School.

“I believe that alternative school districts provide a better education,” Mr. Valentine said.

Board members Teresa Bettinger and Mr. Valentine said they wanted to bring this issue to the community after residents expressed frustration with TPS.

Dozens of Spencer Township residents packed into the town hall Tuesday evening to voice their thoughts about the township withdrawing from TPS.

The meeting at times was cantankerous as people voiced their opposition to leaving TPS. But when the board asked for a vote at the end of the meeting, the majority of those in attendance voted to continue having discussions about Spencer Township detaching from TPS.

IMG-1144-jpg-1

Spencer Township Board of Trustees held a special public meeting Tuesday evening to discuss possibly leaving the Toledo Public Schools district. From left to right: Dawn McDonald (fiscal officer), Michael Hood (Trustee), Teresa Bettinger (Trustee), and Shawn Valentine (Trustee).

The Blade/Javonte Anderson
Enlarge | Buy This Image

Mr. Valentine said the TPS students could possibly attend one of five nearby districts — Evergreen, Springfield, Swanton, Anthony Wayne, or Sylvania. But he said this would be an “uphill battle” that is completely up to the residents living in the TPS section of the township.

Chris Lake, Swanton Local Schools superintendent, said it would be very difficult for Swanton to accommodate an influx of students from Spencer Township.

“Truthfully we’re pretty tight right now,” he said.

Leaving TPS would require a series of steps. To initiate the process, 75 percent of eligible registered voters in Spencer Township who live in the TPS section would have to file a petition. They would then need to receive a recommendation from the state board of education, and the approval from the desired school district, said Sheilah McAdams, a lawyer representing the township.

Leaving the district would also have financial implications.

The owner of a $50,000 home in Spencer Township residing in the TPS tax district pays $1,184 annually, according to Carlos Ruiz of the Lucas County Auditor’s office.

If Spencer Township residents within the TPS section moved to Springfield, it would cost the owner of a $50,000 home $1,174 annually in property taxes, $899 if they switched to Swanton Local School District, and $872 if they switched to Evergreen Schools.

Contact Javonte Anderson at janderson@theblade.com419-724-6065, or on Twitter @JavonteA.

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