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Vandalia-Butler Examines Its Relationship With The State

Vandalia-Butler School District

Officials with the Vandalia-Butler School District have plans to take more local control over the district’s curriculum and assessment process.

The district is one of several in Ohio that want to radically change their relationship to the state.

Vandalia-Butler officials are upset with how much time students spent taking exams this year. They’re also having problems with the proposed changes to the school funding formula, which would mean fewer dollars for Vandalia-Butler. Right now, state money makes up about 16 percent of the district’s budget.

Superintendent Brad Neavin says he’s getting tired of the changing mandates and it might be time to consider a bolder approach: secede from state control altogether.

“There a lot of districts that have snubbed the state and said ‘we don’t want your funding.’ Because if we just take care of it locally, although it looks like we’re spending more on the dollar, the reality of it is we don’t have to take on all the bureaucratic costs,” Neavin said.

He says the district already has its own process in place to assess both students and teachers, so it wouldn’t be impossible to ditch the state model.

And school board president Bruce Sucher says a locally-controlled process is better. Principals in the buildings have the best chance to know how well teachers are doing.  

“Teaching is the only profession in the state where the state is involved in the evaluation. They don’t do it for other professions that they give certificates to, or licenses,” Sucher said.

Superintendent Neavin says Vandalia-Butler isn’t alone in wanting more local control. He says there’s a meeting set for June 9 in Columbus with other superintendents from around the state.