Open enrollment not a good thing

Published 10:30 am Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Since 1989, students in Ohio have had the option of enrolling in any public school district that will accept them. As open enrollment expanded rapidly across the state, no district accepted as many outside students as the Coventry local schools. In the past school year, the district educated 782 outside students, most from Akron, or 38 percent of its enrollment.

Questions about how the policy of accepting any student from any district in Ohio is affecting Coventry’s finances often have surfaced during school levy campaigns.

In a recent performance audit, the result of the district being placed in fiscal emergency by the state, Dave Yost presented his analysis, part of a comprehensive fiscal overview.

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The state auditor recommended a drastic reduction in open enrollment students, down to at least 116. At that level, Yost sensibly advised, open enrollment students would round out classes, allowing the district to increase revenue while not adding staff members. The overall savings would be $1.5 million a year, important in getting the district budget in order…

The effects of open enrollment on districts such as Akron long have been plain. Beyond the financial losses, the flight of largely white, middle-class students has contributed to racial and social isolation…


The Akron Beacon Journal