Your Voice Ohio forum is held in Trotwood

Your Voice Ohio: Trotwood needs its schools to improve

Participants in the Trotwood Your Voice Ohio forum said on Wednesday that the city’s success depends on improvements in the quality of Trotwood-Madison Schools.

“The Trotwood Board of Education is struggling and not succeeding,” said Trotwood resident Marshall Stearns, who argued that the city needs to step in to help improve the schools.

RELATED: Trotwood avoids takeover, board president says schools on path to ‘A’ grade

But Deputy City Manager Stephanie Kellum pointed out that the city has no authority over schools.

“I’m telling you from a city perspective you’re not going to improve education if you don’t improve income. You’re not going to improve income if you don’t get jobs. You’re not going to get jobs if you don’t have amenities,” Kellum said. “It’s a downward spiral.”

School officials could not be reached for comment.

Participants at the meeting, held at the Trotwood Community and Cultural Arts Center, discussed how the community’s residents could live more happy and fulfilled lives.

RELATED: How did your district do on the 2018-19 state report card?

They talked about the need for more economic diversity in the city, which would attract businesses such as grocery stores, and help the city and schools with their finances.

“We’ve attracted so many families that are on the poorer end of the spectrum,” said former councilman Bruce Kettelle. “That concentration makes it more challenging.”

Doug Oplinger of Your Voice Ohio and residents participate in a forum held Wednesday at Trotwood Community and Cultural Arts Center. LYNN HULSEY/Staff Writer

Trotwood-Madison High School teacher Alicia Pagan called for more mentoring of students as well as internships and other ways of showing them the opportunities that are available to them.

RELATED: Your Voice Ohio: Involved citizens are key to solving the region’s problems

“I like the idea of having students more involved because that gives them some sense of ownership, and sense of identification,” said Kellum, who said she would like the district to bring students to City Hall to see how government works.

She said the state’s school funding system needs reformed so that districts are not dependent on the property wealth in their communities, which creates disparities in the quality of education.

The Your Voice Ohio forums are part of an ongoing effort by Ohio news organizations to spark conversations on solutions to the state’s problems.

The forums in the region are sponsored by the Dayton Daily NewsWHIO-TV, WYSO public radio and Soapbox Cincinnati.

RELATED: Residents share ideas for a happier, more fulfilled Dayton

Previous Your Voice Ohio forums have addressed the problems of addiction and economic disparities.

RELATED: Economic forum: Water, universities among Dayton’s key strengths

Your Voice Ohio forums continue through Monday. They are free and open to the public. Those scheduled are as follows:

Dayton: Today, October 3, White House Event Center (ground floor of the Jefferson Place Apartment building, 101 E. 2nd St.), 6-8 p.m.

Lebanon: Sunday, October 6, Countryside YMCA, 1:30 – 3:30 p.m.

Springboro: Monday, October 7, YMCA of Greater Dayton – Coffman Family Branch, 6-8 p.m.

Visit YourVoiceOhio.org for more information.

See Sunday’s Dayton Daily News for more on this story.

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