News Home
Quick Bites
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
On AirNewsClassical
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Northeast Ohio Medical University

Wayside Furniture

Don Drumm Studios

For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )

Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us

Medina school board, teachers are reviewing more than $300,000 in expenditures
'Growth coach' expenditures join the review of signing bonus, tuition for Superintendent Randy Stepp

Kabir Bhatia
In The Region:
CORRECTION: The name of the head of Medina's teacher's union was incorrect in this story. He is John Leatherman.

On the heels of a new teachers’ contract, and with a levy vote coming in May, the Medina school board is looking into expenditures from a special account by Superintendent Randy Stepp – and so is the teachers’ union. WKSU’s Kabir Bhatia reports.
Medina school board, teachers reviewing Superintendent's expenditures

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (2:18)

The district’s review stems from the revelation that it paid more than a quarter-million dollars toward Stepp’s MBA and college loans, plus a bonus he received to re-sign with the district in January. The education money came from the carryover from a fund held by the county school board that’s intended to pay for school nurses and special needs instructors.

New contract for teachers
Teachers’ union president John Leatherman says he learned the source of the payments in March, just hours after telling Stepp that teachers had tentatively agreed to a new contract. The pact includes pay freezes and increased insurance costs. Leatherman is now going through 800 pages of school expenditures.

“I mean, we just found out a little less than a week ago [that] they hired a guy called a ‘growth coach’ and he trained six administrators for a day in August. And they paid him almost $80,000. And they paid him out of that same account, and the only person that had to approve it was our superintendent.”

New controls
During last week’s board meeting, Treasurer Jim Hudson outlined tighter controls for expenditures from that account, which previously only required Stepp’s approval.
The teachers’ union has given a “no confidence” vote to the school board, and some residents have called for the entire board’s resignation. President Charles Freeman did just that last week, handing the reins to Karla Robinson.
She’s fielded angry but civil comments from the public and teachers, saying board members didn’t realize the total for Stepp’s education was so high. But she understands their frustration.

“We’re still trying to fully brief ourselves as to what happened. People might be annoyed by the speed of our investigation, considering these facts were brought to light earlier in March. Because of sunshine laws, we’re a board that can’t sit down every day and talk about these issues unless we notify the public. Furthermore, this is not a full-time job for us. All of us have outside work and we’re giving as much as we can to this right now. But the pace of change for and governmental entity is always going to be slower than the public would like.”

Going forward
Robinson says she hopes parents, galvanized by the spending revelations, use that same energy to support the 5.9 mill levy in May. Teachers’ union President Leatherton says that could be tricky. And he cautiously suggested that Stepp’s resignation might alleviate the situation. For his part, the superintendent has agreed to re-pay the $83,000 signing bonus through payroll deductions.
Listener Comments:

John Leatherman for Superintendent of Medina City Schools!

Posted by: Janice Krusoczky on April 1, 2013 12:04PM
sigh. John LEATHERMAN, not Leatherton.

Posted by: Itibrout on April 1, 2013 6:04AM
Add Your Comment


E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook

Stories with Recent Comments

Backers of legalizing marijuana in Ohio promise to be back in 2016
We should be aloud to grow more than 4 plants and not have to register with the state considering it will be a free market.

Akron says it's had no second thoughts about welcoming refugees
What business does Councilman Neal own on North Hill? I'd love to support him. I am so glad to have the refugees in our neighborhood. I have lived here for 25 ...

Scarborough says the University of Akron is trying to rebuild relationships
In order for the University of Akron to grow and become a desirable place for students across Ohio and elsewhere, it must address the crime problem in the Akron...

Ohio Sen. Cliff Hite wants to end pay-to-play sports fees at Ohio's schools
You can bet Hite and Husted will also rush to the rescue of the Academic Challenge team, the speech-and-debate squad, the Science Olympians and the chess club. ...

Ohio lawmakers consider new gun bills
States that have gun restrictions/cities have reduced gun violence is false. CHICAGO has some of the toughest gun laaws/restrictions but yet fun violence is off...

Cleveland's public transit system considers fare increase for 2016
I work with individuals with disabilities. Yes some of my folks need more help than the average person. As a whole, the group I work with however can manuver ju...

Community group sues to re-open part of Wadsworth hospital
My father was part of the founding group of citizens which started the "new" Wadsworth/Rittman Hospital. For some reason the leadership for the future of the ho...

The Cleveland Museum of Art presents painters who loved their gardens
brilliant masterpiece, Greetings from

Ohio Sen. Tom Patton proposes bill for firefighter cancer benefits
Thank you Senator Patton. On behalf of all of those who love our firefighters; we appreciate that someone is standing up for them and their continued health. ??...

Copyright © 2015 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University