The Akron Public School board is weighing its options to close the last part of a $22 million budget gap.
But they're still fighting competition from charter schools.
A recent report highlighting a state requirement that the Akron schools provide transportation to charter schools up to two miles from the student's home got board members talking...for about a half-hour at Monday night's Akron school board meeting.
The board talked about how to get more students back in the Akron fold...students whose parents have moved them to charter schools just for the transportation.
Akron school superintendent David James says that he'd love to have charter students back in the district by making in district transportation more available, but there's the financial reality.
"We're cutting our budget," James tells AkronNewsNow.com, "and really can't afford to purchase the extra buses to enable and enlarge our own transportation or even try to lure some of those kids back."
James says though the board will look into what it'd take to reduce the transportation limit from 2 miles to a mile and a half, even if they could do it...charter, private and parochial schools would have the same advantage under state law.
The Akron superintendent says he doesn't think wooing charter school students back to the district can be a financial priority.
"I happen to think that the money would be much better spent focusing on the students we have, and improving their educational outcomes," James says, "and just rightsizing our district."