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Opinion

Coventry district’s report on open enrollment scrutinized

4/20/2017 - South Side Leader
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By Letter to the Editor

To the editor:

This would be funny if it wasn’t so pathetic. The Coventry [Local] Schools Board [of Education] (CSB), which is led by Superintendent Russell Chaboudy, want you to believe that after 18 years of being in “fiscal watch” by the State of Ohio, followed by their current status of “fiscal emergency,” have now “seen the light” and know exactly what they need to do. Keep in mind they said the same thing three years ago when they presented a five-year plan, which they said would get us out of fiscal watch. The Board of Education then awarded the treasurer and Mr. Chaboudy bonuses for their wonderful job.

So the first thing the CSB does is IGNORE the recommendation of the state auditors committee. The State of Ohio spent tens of thousands of dollars on a thorough analysis of our schools’ income and expenditures and determined cutting open enrollment (OE) to well under 100 would SAVE Coventry Schools well over $1 million. We currently have over 800* OE students, compared to 1,400 local students.

And why did the CSB ignore the state’s independent and completely unbiased report? Because Mr. Chaboudy said they made a mistake. So he had a new report made up by the treasurer of Coventry Schools, who indirectly reports to Mr. Chaboudy. And the new report said not only does OE not cost us over $1 million per year, we actually MAKE $3 million per year on OE students.

That my friends, is the biggest whopper of a tale since I told my grandson I was fishing in the Portage Lakes and caught the fish which is on display at the entrance to Acme grocery store on Manchester Road.

So how did they come up with the figure of making $3 million? By concluding that local students cost over $14,000 each to educate, while OE students only cost around $3,000 each to educate. Anyone with any common sense should know that that just can’t be right.

So who should we believe about the cost of OE students? The state auditors independent and unbiased committee or Mr. Chaboudy’s report written by the schools’ treasurer? A report that is different from the state’s by $4 million.

If you are a parent of a child living in Coventry, you should be outraged. If you are a taxpayer in Coventry you should be outraged. CSB is taking money that could and should be spent on our children and using it to spend on OE students.

Send a message to Mr. Chaboudy and the CSB that we are not going to take their mismanagement any more.

Vote no on the school levy. Send a message to the CSB to do the right thing. Yes, I realize it’s not a new tax. But maybe if they start doing the right thing financially, we won’t need that tax anyway.

Jim Wiczen, Coventry



*Editor’s note: Coventry Local Schools officials reported at a Feb. 13 public meeting on open enrollment that open enrollment for this school year is 757 students.

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