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Field, Waterloo to talk about shared superintendent

By Mike sever | staff writer Published: March 24, 2013 4:00 AM
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School boards from the Field and Waterloo districts will meet in April to discuss the possibility of sharing the superintendent services of Waterloo's Andrew Hill.

The idea of shared services as a money-saving option was raised by Field Board of Education member Allyson Westover after the Field board accepted the resignation of Superintendent Beth Coleman.

The district has been unsuccessful in getting its most recent levies approved by voters. It pulled a 5.0-mill additional levy off the May 7 primary ballot.

Field board president Terry Kettering said he contacted a friend on the Waterloo board, which gave permission for Hill to talk with Field.

"Dr. Hill came and talked with us. We're just in preliminary talks. We don't know if it is going to go anywhere," Kettering said.

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Hill said there has been no conversation about what such an arrangement would look like -- that's what two joint sessions of the board are for in early April.

In the meantime, Kettering said Field will probably go ahead and start the search for a new superintendent.

The public is invited to attend the two joint sessions -- the first at 7 p.m. April 1 in the Waterloo High School media center, the second at 7 p.m. April 4 in the Field High School cafeteria. There will be time set aside for public comment.

"The meetings are an opportunity for the boards to have a dialogue and to get community input," Hill said. The meetings will be "a preliminary conversation to see when and if there could be an agreement."

If talks end up in an agreement it would be the first such in Portage County, but one that has been done elsewhere in Ohio. Hill said Waterloo has been interested in sharing services in other areas for some time. When it had vacancies in its food service and transportation areas, the district discussed sharing with other districts, but those efforts fell through, he said.

One reason to do it is to conserve money as long as possible, and put it back in the classrooms for students.

"The community gave us a gift when it passed our levy," Hill said. "We're trying to do everything we can to be good stewards of that money."

Contact this reporter at 330-298-1125 or msever@recordpub.com

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waterloo Apr 3, 2013 4:03 PM

I am a Waterloo Parent. Dr. Hill is a wonderful superindent. I fully beleive that he is qualified and could easily pull off the joint position. He is very dedicated to his job and the kids. I would like to tell the brimfield parents that your voices will be heard and the best interest for the school district and children will be put first. Dr. Hill sounds like the kick in the pants Brimfield needs. Our school levy finally passed! Dr. Hill will make sure the political BS is put aside and do what needs done!

new Mar 29, 2013 7:50 PM

Field board president Terry Kettering said he contacted a friend on the Waterloo board, which gave permission for Hill to talk with Field.

Would like to know who that Friend was. Lost my next vote.

Ian_Maserb Mar 25, 2013 12:41 PM

They would either have to pay him more or admit that they were paying to much before. We know which one will happen.

rearea Mar 24, 2013 10:39 PM

No point in going to the board meeting as a parent that has went to a few they dont listen to what the parents have to say and when you do finally get to say something they either blow what you said off or tell you they really dont want to hear you the Field school board flunkies are the ones that messed are district up to begin with so fire them and get someone in there that will do the job right

redleg6 Mar 24, 2013 11:30 AM

Excerpt from the following article;..."Superintendent Pay at Top of the Class"...by Elizabeth Macdonald

Read more: http://www.foxbusiness.com/government/2013/03/19/superintendent-pay-at-top-class/#ixzz2O5n9wbXL...


Like New Jersey, Ohio is seeing rampant double dipping by school officials, meaning, they retire early, pocket benefits, then get rehired elsewhere...

One in four public school leaders in Ohio's 614 districts brings home the bacon twice, the Plain Dealer estimated in 2010...

It found roughly 32,000 double-dipping state and local employees collected more than $1 billion in pension payouts in 2009 on top of their paychecks. Three-quarters of those payouts went to members of the State Teachers Retirement System, it said...

More than 150 of the state's superintendents also got paychecks and pensions at the same time, the Plain Dealer found....

A Brookings/Greater Ohio Policy Study Center report had criticized Ohio for spending more taxpayer money than the other 49 states on administration, while spending less than other states on actual classroom instruction. Ohio ranked 47th out of the 50 states for putting money into classrooms, while coming in the top ten at number nine in terms of tax dollars spent on administration. The states school system got a B minus grade from Education Week....

Brookings also reported that Ohio's share of spending on administration was 49% higher than the national average...

It used to be that, prior to 2000, before state law was changed, teachers and supers in Ohio had to wait a year and a half to return to public service. Then that time period was cut to two months, in keeping with other public employees, reports indicate....

Since then, the state has still seen a big increase in the number of double dippers, with supers and teachers returning to full- and part-time work in the schools, as consultants or adjunct professors at universities, local reports indicate...

About 1,100 pocketed on average $67,000 in pension pay while returning to work to make $70,000 to $100,000 in their post-retirement jobs at school districts, the Plain Dealer found. It also discovered 299 retirees got more than six figures in annual pay, while receiving a pension check of more than $80,000 on average, it says...

Meanwhile, the state has an estimated $175.4 billion in government retiree liabilities, a report from the Pew Center on the States says. The state is in need of teachers and administrators, with 16 students per teacher and 248 students per administrator, higher than the national average, says the National Center for Education Statistics...