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Ohio school district ends Midland contract

| Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015, 12:20 a.m.

Incoming high school students in the Midland Borough School District in Beaver County won't be attending high school in East Liverpool this fall.

The Ohio school district this week abruptly opted out of its contract to accept Midland students.

Midland closed its high school in 1986 but operates an elementary-middle school. Midland high school students began attending East Liverpool High School in 1994, the only such arrangement across state lines in Pennsylvania, after the Beaver Area School District decided not to enroll them.

On Monday night, the East Liverpool school board voted 5-0 to break the contract — without calling anyone in the Midland district.

“I was quite surprised. One would think revenue from our students would be quite beneficial,” Midland Superintendent Sean Tanner said.

East Liverpool Superintendent Melissa Watson and school board President Scott Dieringer did not return calls for comment.

East Liverpool board member Janice Martin referred comment to Watson but said East Liverpool advertised the special school board meeting in the local newspaper about the vote.

“The requirements of the contract were not being met by either side,” said Martin, who did not elaborate.

When Midland first signed the deal with East Liverpool, 120 students from Midland enrolled. That number had dwindled to 10 by this academic year; 105 Midland students now attend two nearby charter schools in Pennsylvania, Tanner said.

The 10 remaining at East Liverpool will be allowed to finish their academic careers there. Midland pays East Liverpool about $120,000 this year in tuition.

The elimination of East Liverpool as an option affects about 17 Midland eighth-graders, who must pick from charter schools unless a Beaver County district agrees to enroll them. Tanner said he's in talks with some Pennsylvania districts.

“I was on the school board at the time when East Liverpool agreed to allow our students, and I'm grateful for what they did. They opened their arms to us,” Midland board Vice President David Vuckovich said. “I guess now they did what they felt they had to do.”

Bobby Kerlik is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7886 or bkerlik@tribweb.com.

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