Monday, July 24, 2000

District weighs dropping 'city'

Talawanda schools' name controversial

By Sue Kiesewetter
Enquirer Contributor

        OXFORD — Talawanda City School educators are wondering whether it's time to drop the word “city” from the district's name.

        Ever since the district changed from a “local” district — under the jurisdiction of the old county office of education — to a city district more than 20 years ago, “city” has been a sore point, especially among the majority who live in the outlying townships in this 140-square-mile district in western Butler County.

        “We think there may be sentiment to change the name,” said Talawanda school board member Bob Sherman, an Oxford Township resident who raised the issue at a recent meeting.

        “It's a sore spot for a lot of people,” said board President William Vollmer of Reily Township. “You have no idea what a rub it is.”

        Research has since shown that although the district is legally organized as a city district, it can call itself anything it wants.

        And with another operating levy on the ballot in November, some think the timing for a change is right.

        “A lot of people in and out of town (Oxford) would like to see things go better,” Mr. Sherman said. “If we can change a name and it helps ... I hope it would show we're sensitive to the different constituents in the district and we don't prefer one to another.”

        The problem dates to the late 1970s when some smaller, outlying schools were closed, leaving all but Maud Marshall in the immediate Oxford area, prompting a movement to split the district, Mr. Vollmer said. Since then it has been difficult to pass money issues.

        “I hope it would have a unifying effect,” Mr. Sherman said.

        The board will meet at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 21 at Talawanda Middle School.


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