7th Ward residents blame population loss on deficient education

Residents of Youngstown’s 7th Ward attended the Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corp.’s meeting March 20. The 7th Ward covers Brownlee Woods, Cottage Grove, Park Boulevard, Lansingville and Powerstown. Rick Pollo has the story.

More than 60 residents on Youngstown’s Southeast side attended the Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corp. meeting March 20 to discuss their concerns for the city. A major topic of discussion centered on the lack of quality education and how that has led to a decrease in population. Photo provided

More than 60 residents on Youngstown’s Southeast side attended the Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corp. meeting March 20 to discuss their concerns for the city. A major topic of discussion centered on the lack of quality education and how that has led to a decrease in population. Photo provided

More than 60 residents of the city’s Southeast side showed up for YNDC’s neighborhood meeting.

Education was a hot topic, and is on the minds of some like Park Boulevard resident Terry Escarco.

ESCARCO: Until you improve the education in Youngstown, until parents, guardians and the kids take their education seriously and improve the graduation rate from 70 percent to 90, Youngstown will never improve.

Escarco blames the schools for population loss.

ESCARCO: People have left Youngstown because of the education. And people have also left Youngstown schools to charter schools.

Ohio has 389 charter schools. Youngstown has 13.

7th Ward Citizens Coalition board member Nick Durse agrees that a strong school district is key for maintaining and attracting residents.

DURSE: I think education is really where it starts and ends. People want to live in an area where there are good school systems for their kids.

Youngstown schools operate under an academic recovery plan after receiving some of the lowest grades in the state. The district remains under academic watch.

YNDC Program Coordinator Jack Daugherty says there’s no specific plan at the moment to improve the city’s schools, however, it will be addressed after more information is gathered.

DAUGHERTY: Certainly it’s an issue that the city faces as a whole and something that has come up in meetings and is something that we’re definitely going to discuss as time goes on.

YNDC’s next meeting will take place March 25 at the East Side Library.

For TheNewsOutlet.org, I’m Rick Pollo.

TheNewsOutlet.org is a collaborative effort among the Youngstown State University journalism program, The University of Akron, Cuyahoga Community College and professional media outlets including, WYSU-FM Radio and The Vindicator (Youngstown), The Beacon Journal and Rubber City Radio (Akron).

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