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Medina school board and superintendent under fire
Randy Stepp's $265,000 education tab draws fire from residents and "no-confidence" vote from teachers union


Kabir Bhatia
In The Region:

The Medina Board of Education heard spirited public comments at its meeting last night, with some residents calling for all the members to resign. The controversy stems from more than a quarter-million dollars the district paid toward Superintendent Randy Stepp’s MBA and college loans.

At issue is a carryover fund from the schools’ Educational Service Center, or ESC. It’s intended to pay for school nurses and special needs assistance. But the Medina Gazette reports some of the money in the fund was used to pay for Stepp’s MBA degree and other college loans. It isn't clear if Stepp was required to have an MBA in order to hold the superintendent position.

School board members said they encouraged Stepp to pursue his education, but acknowledge they didn’t know how much it would cost or where the payments came from. Board President Charles Freeman resigned Tuesday, saying the topic has become a distraction from the needs of students.

During last night’s meeting, Treasurer Jim Hudson outlined tighter controls for expenditures from the ESC account, which previously only required Stepp’s approval. The superintendent has agreed to re-pay an unrelated $83,000 retention bonus through payroll deductions.

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