CANFIELD, Ohio (WKBN) – State senators Michael Rulli and Sean O’Brien held a workshop with area superintendents on Friday to try to find out about their biggest concerns in education.
Superintendents from dozens of Valley school districts came to the Mahoning County Educational Service Center in Canfield to share their concerns about everything from state testing to funding.
O’Brien said the workshop is a way to hear from the front lines of education in the Mahoning Valley.
“By them telling us what’s going on, it better enables us to legislate and pass legislation on their behalf that may help them. We’re different from Columbus, we’re different than Cincinnati. Every area is different.”
He said it’s important to stay in touch with educators because the job of teaching students has changed immensely over the past few years.
“They’re becoming more social workers. There are so many different issues that are out occurring, it’s just trying to figure out how, where to start and how to create a plan to make it better for…everyone in the state.”
Superintendents talked about funding problems, transportation issues and concerns about state testing.
They also had concerns about unfunded mandates, declining population and the problem of keeping independence on the local level.
“Poland’s had to close schools, Maplewood in Trumbull County has had to close schools,” said Newton Falls Superintendent Paul Woodard. “I think it’s happening everywhere right now where we’re having to close schools because schools like ours are losing population.”
The senators said they will take the information from the workshop and use it as they work on legislation in Columbus.