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Opinion

APS Board member clarifies position

7/3/2014 - South Side Leader
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By Letter to the Editor

To the editor:

I would like to clarify a statement made in the June 27 [2014] issue of the South Side News Leader regarding the Akron Public Schools (APS) sale of Central Hower to The University of Akron. The article stated I was a “vocal opponent of the … deal to ‘sell’ the building to UA,” which is a bit of a mischaracterization of my position.

I was a proponent of the sale in order to fund Innovation Generation Scholarships. I personally spent time in Columbus in the spring of 2012 visiting state senators and representatives lobbying to get language inserted in the 2012 Mid Biennium Review (MBR) of the state’s budget, after stand-alone legislation to amend the Ohio Revised Code to allow the sale and transfer got stuck in committee, with no chance of coming to the floor for a vote.

The push to add language to the MBR by many, including myself, allowed for the sale and transfer of the property. The language, if not inserted, would have required APS to first offer the building to charter schools to buy before any deal could have been struck with The University of Akron. What I was vocally opposed to was a clause in the sales contract presented in December 2012 that required APS to turn around and lease classroom space in Central Hower back from The University of Akron, with no option for APS to terminate the lease prior to the end of the 10-year term. I was also vocally opposed to the sales contract as presented since the sale was not for cash. Since the consideration for the sale has been agreed upon, it is not worth discussing any further.

The final lease agreed to in August 2013 did include a negotiated termination clause for APS, making the expense of leasing classroom space in Central Hower from the university worth continued review and discussion, a discussion I initiated at our last board meeting.

Tim Miller, Akron Public Schools Board of Education member

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