Prepared Text for Board Meeting – February 25, 2008 (Metro)

Marc A. Schare  614 791-0646 Home

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No one is saying that the Metro School program is not a quality program, that they currently offer something we do not have in Worthington or that Worthington kids could not benefit from attending the Metro School. The issue is over how can we achieve the best bang for our education dollar.


Let’s run the numbers. 4 kids at 6100 a year is $24,400. Four years from now, our annual commitment would be well in excess of $100K/year to provide excellent opportunities for 16 kids. The question is – what else could we be doing for that $100,000.


We were given a glimpse at what dedicated teachers can accomplish at the Worthington Kilbourne event last Thursday where five teams of teachers presented some ideas for augmentation of our high school programs. A program to help students recover 100 credits and get their academic careers back on track could be had for
$14,120. An international business academy serving 100 kids a year would cost us less than $15,000 annually from our general fund. The Linworth program could be enhanced by imbedding technology through their entire curriculum for a few thousand dollars.  At Thomas, an entrepreneurial academy would hit the bond fund pretty hard but operational costs would be well contained, as would be the case for the Health Care Career Pathway. In short, for less than the operating costs of sending 16 kids to Metro, we could fund all 5 of the high school enhancement proposals and have money left over for additional proposals in the years to come.


And what of those new proposals?  Is there anyone in the room who does not believe that Worthington would be served by the addition of a STEM program of our own, designed by OUR teachers, implemented for OUR students and supported by OUR community. Is there anyone who doubts that we will   see an initiative in the next year or two for a STEM school in Worthington that would serve dozens of kids from all across our district, not just a handful lucky enough to win a lottery. Is there anyone who doubts that given academic freedom, our staff cannot implement a program that offers similar opportunities to that provided by Metro.


And what of Metro?  In 2006, their business plan seemed bullet proof. They would allow districts to charge tuition and, in return, they would provide assistance back to the districts in terms of professional development and other services. That was before Worthington became familiar with terms like “State Guarantees” and before Mark Dann informed us we cannot legally charge the tuition. The Metro business case falls apart when the cost of tuition must be paid not by the parents and not by the state but by LOCAL taxpayer dollars. I have no doubt that Metro does a phenomenal job and I don’t blame the parents in this room or their kids for wanting to take advantage of the opportunity, but if I can provide additional opportunities for 200 kids in Worthington for the same money as 16 kids at Metro, I’ll choose Worthington every  time.