MEDINA -- The president of Medina School Board board has resigned amid controversy over district spending and the superintendent's compensation, which included about $265,000 for his college education bills.
The local teachers association is criticizing the Medina board's oversight and how superintendent Randy Stepp handled the fund that supplied those payments for his education.
The Medina Gazettereports board members said they didn't realize the total was so high.
They had encouraged his pursuit of a master's in business administration, which cost $93,000.
Board President Charles Freeman resigned Tuesday, calling the controversy a distraction from focusing on students.
He says he hopes new leadership helps restore that focus. The board was expected to talk about spending oversight Wednesday night.
The board will have 30 days to fill the vacant seat. Karla Robinson, Vice President will become the Board President and the Board will need to elect a new Vice President.
Here is what was posted on the school's website on Tuesday:
Mr. Charley Freeman, President of the Medina City Schools Board of Education tendered his resignation today, March 26, 2013. Freeman has served on the Board since January of 2010. His term would have ended at the end of this calendar year.
In a letter to the Board he stated, "My focus and highest priority has always been for the best educational interests of the children in our District. Unfortunately, the events of the past few weeks have distracted from that focus. I commend all of you for your commitment to greater transparency and your efforts to improve the Board's communications with everyone concerned with the business of the District."
"It is my sincere hope that with new leadership, the Board, union, teachers, administrators and community can again come together and place our collective focus where it belongs: on the kids.It has been a great honor and a privilege to serve Medina City Schools along with each of you. So many of my experiences have been deeply rewarding, and I will carry that with me going forward. I have the utmost respect for each of you and for our teachers; I especially want to thank them for their dedication helping our students achieve excellence under challenging economic conditions."
"Finally, I would like to thank the citizens of Medina for giving me the opportunity to serve the District.Now is the time for all of us in the community to come together in support of our schools. While I submit this resignation with a heavy heart, I will always remain an enthusiastic and vocal supporter of Medina City Schools. It is one of the finest school districts in Ohio, if not the country. And I can assure you that on May 7, you will find me at the polls voting to support the levy this District so badly needs to give our children the educational opportunities they so richly deserve. I hope my fellow residents will join me."
Board Vice President, Karla Robinson stated, "On behalf of myself and the rest of the board, I would like to thank Charley for his dedicated service to the Medina City Schools. Charley's big heart and caring for our students will be missed throughout the District. We wish him the very best."