Lakeland and W-E Schools…..we have a problem..we want some answers! [update 1/28/19]

Thanks to our Kirtland lobbyist for the heads up on this article…..

Superintendent Stephan Thompson of Willoughby-Eastlake school proudly announces what is in store for Willoughby residents.  LFC wants you to take note of who Mr. Thompson has hitched his wagon to…..with friends like this who needs enemies?

https://www.cleveland.com/education/2018/12/it-takes-a-village-new-schools-in-willoughby-eastlake-connected-to-ymca-senior-center-theater-with-shared-use.html

Here is an excerpt from the article:

The Union Square complex on Glenn Drive in Eastlake includes the renovated Eastlake North High School and a performing arts theater. Eastlake North and Willoughby South will both have student unions with a beverage shop called Pulp, a Mitchell’s Ice Cream shop, a restaurant and a credit union. Students from both schools will be able to attend college-level courses offered by the University of Akron on site.

Lake County residents pay $20 million a year  in property taxes to fund Lakeland Community College.  The college just spend $68.5 million on building a state of the art Health Technology department, and are contemplating building dorms to entice more students because of severe declining enrollments.

Lakeland depends on the College Credit Plus program (free college for 7-12 graders) for additional operating funds that are paid for by the local public schools and by extension the taxpayers.

Let us recap for you:

  1. Taxpayers pay property taxes for the public schools (68% of all property taxes go fund public schools)
  2. Taxpayers pay for free college through the CCP program.
  3. Lakeland’s enrollment is declining, but will spend more money to attract students with non-ORC approved dorms.
  4. Lakeland spent ~$68.5 million on a Health Technology complex that is state of the art.
  5. Willoughby-Eastlake wins at the ballot box 51% – 49% to take more money from the taxpayers to build a complex that will be second to none in the country.
  6. Superintendent Stephan Thompson then decides that Lakeland is not worthy to be selected to offer the free college that the taxpayers are paying for.
  7. Superintendent Stephan Thompson then decides that local taxpayer money is going to be spent outside of the County and given to the University of Akron!!!!

We are living in an alternate universe……..something is drastically wrong!!!

To the Lake County Commissioners, Lakeland Community College, and Willoughby-Eastlake School Board —– you owe Lake County taxpayers an explanation. Why are you using the University of Akron rather than Lakeland Community College?

We will try to get to the bottom of this by going directly to Mr. Thompson and Mr. Morris Beverage of Lakeland Community College.  We are searching for the truth. Stay tuned!

*********************1776
Update with responses from Mr. Stephan Thompson, Superintendent of the Willoughby-Eastlake Schools.

We sent an email to Mr. Thompson with several questions.  Here are his answers:

Mr. Massie,

Answers to your questions:

Q: 1. Are Willoughby-Eastlake teachers going to be teaching the college level courses offered by the University of Akron at the new Willloughby-Eastlake school complex?
A.  Yes. Our teachers will continue to teach all CCP courses offered on campus.
Q. 2. If a Willoughby-Eastlake teacher is not qualified to teach a particular course, will a University of Akron professor teach the course at the Willoughby-Eastlake school complex for the SAME $42.00 rate?
A.  No. Our union will not permit U of A staff to teach on our campus.
Q. 3. What courses are available through the University of Akron that are not offered by Lakeland Community College? 
A.  Lakeland offers 100 and 200 level courses. U of A can offer 300 and 400 level courses for the few students who need them, but most importantly what they offer are the STEM and engineering courses that Lakeland cannot. This will be especially important at our School of Innovation (which is a STEM based school).
Q. 4. Were any other colleges interviewed by the Willoughby-Eastlake school board to administer the CCP program?  
A.  Yes. We reached out to all the local universities.
Q. 5. Exactly what was the process that allowed the Willoughby-Eastlake school board to select the University of Akron?
A.  Our administrative team visited or contacted several universities. We vetted the universities and made a recommendation to the Board of Education. 
Q. 6. Multiple sources have told us that there is a very “strained” relationship between you and Mr. Morris Beverage. Was there any attempt at negotiations with Lakeland Community College, or did your “strained” relationship  with Mr. Morris Beverage prevent any chance at negotiations?
A.  I would not describe my relationship with Mr. Beverage as “strained”. We did meet, but were unable to reach an agreement on tuition charges. I stand open and willing to meet with Mr. Beverage to discuss our options.
Q. 7. May an eligible Willoughby-Eastlake student select any other college other than the University of Akron for their CCP program?
A.  Yes – and they do.

*********************1776
(LFC Comments: We would say that Mr. Thompson’s responses are straight-forward, transparent, and their decisions were in the best interests of Willoughby-Eastlake students.  Their union prohibiting non-Willoughby-Eastlake teachers from teaching on the premises does add a new wrinkle that we did not anticipate.  We, naively, thought that everyone operated with the idea of doing whatever is in the best interests of the students.

We wonder why Lakeland Community College does not offer the courses that Willoughby-Eastlake school children need?  Also, we wonder if LCC has priced themselves out of the market.  We are waiting for LCC’s responses)

 



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