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

Don Drumm Studios

Hospice of the Western Reserve


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
Education


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
by WKSU's KABIR BHATIA


Reporter
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
Name:

Location:

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


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook




Stories with Recent Comments

FitzGerald isn't giving up, but many Stark voters are worried, wary and weary
SB5 stands for "Snow Ball 5" because voters have about a snow ball's chance of remembering what it was.

Columbus groups are trying to pass a Bill of Rights to combat fracking
Its about time we make a stand against the criminal actions of an entire Indsutry.

Crystal Ball says Ohio governor's race is done
How much is the Kasich campaign paying you to keep repeating the phrase "woman who is not his wife"? Fitzgerald was in the car with a friend who happens to be f...

Plane that crashed killing Case students is a popular training aircraft
The following is incorrect. The last few words should read "UNDER maximum gross take-off weight." “They have a normal take-off speed and all those take-off...

Exploradio: The never-ending war against superbugs
Super Federico ,we are so proud of you ,and very lucky to be among your friends . Keep it up human kind needs people like you to survive .Thanks for being so d...

Ohio's Lyme disease-carrying tick population is exploding
Interesting report. The last sentence needs some editing. It isn't a good idea to "save garments carrying ticks for analysis." The garments carrying t...

Teach for America enters third year in Ohio
For more background on TFA, check out http://reconsideringtfa.wordpress.com/

Faith leaders hold week-long prayer vigil at Ohio Statehouse
I think this is the wrong link to the audio. Its Andy Chow about cigarette taxes.

A $30 million plan to turn Cleveland's Public Square from gray to green
The current plan is for the Land Bank, RTA, and Mr. Jeremy Paris to run a bus line through the new Public Square and cutting the park in half. Save Public Squar...

Medina County residents question safety of proposed natural gas pipeline
I'm very concerned about this nexus project. I've received mail requesting my permission to allow the company to survey my property. I don't understand how thi...

Copyright © 2014 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