Different Differences

ONE MAN’S loss is another man’s gain. The same can be said for two Eastern Ohio school districts.

While many local school systems are feeling the effects of a shrinking population base, the Shadyside School District is experiencing robust growth.

Much of the enrollment spike in Tiger Town this fall comes courtesy of a beleaguered neighboring school district. The Switzerland of Ohio’s financial hardships are triggering a sizable exodus of students.

Shadyside schools are one of the biggest beneficiaries. The Barnesville School District is also picking up some Switzerland of Ohio students, in addition to several of its administrators.

Shadyside Superintendent/High School Principal John Haswell reported at Tuesday night’s board of education meeting that 86 students are coming to his district this year from Switzerland of Ohio.

That is an extremely high number. Such a large migration also has major monetary implications attached. It reflects a million dollar swing, with Shadyside picking up half that amount and Switzerland losing it, something the latter could ill afford to happen.

Both districts have levies on the November ballot.

Should the Shadyside levy gain voter approval, the school district should find itself on solid financial footing.

Switzerland of Ohio is not so fortunate. Its levy is to help stop the flow of red ink hounding the district. Massive cuts and a pay-to-participate policy have been executed in the district.

Losing as many students as Switzerland of Ohio has merely places a higher premium of the need for the levy. Should the levy fail, the district would find itself in dire straits.

It appears Shadyside and Switzerland of Ohio are school districts heading in opposite directions.