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Education


Medina school board will decide tonight if it should withdraw the May levy
Supporters say it's needed, but controversy over Medina's superintendent contract may be insurmountable



 
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The Medina school board may withdraw its levy from the May 7 ballot at a special meeting Tuesday.  That would come a day after it suspended its superintendent with pay and less than a week after it asked the state auditor to do a special review of the district’s books.

Board President Karla Robinson announced the steps at a press conference Monday. She underscored that Superintendent Randy Stepp is not being disciplined, and that the suspension is simply administrative while auditors sort through an account in which Stepp got more than $250,000 to pay for his MBA from Case Western Reserve University and to pay off old college loans.

Robinson on the review process

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“Our first and best step was to call the Auditor of State’s office and have them conduct an independent, thorough review,” Robinson says. “And in order to do that, the person involved in creating those transactions has to be put on leave in order to ensure that we get a full and thorough review.”

Stepp will remain on leave until the audit is complete, which could take until the end of May.

Robinson says removing the levy from the May 7 ballot may simply be acknowledging the reality of community mistrust. The board has been criticized for awarding Stepp a $50,000 longevity bonus and an $83,000 signing bonus at a time for teacher concessions and other cuts. He’s agreed to repay the$83,000. In an e-mail after his suspension, Stepp said everything he has received was negotiated openly. 

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