They're not happy about it, but Akron Public Schools board members approved some $300,000 of new busing expenses for charter schools.
At Monday night's meeting, board members say they had no choice but to expand bus service to charter schools in a contract with the Petermann charter bus company, which provides excess busing services to the district.
State law requires the public district to bus charter students within the district, at its own expense, if they're over two miles from the school.
Board vice president Lisa Mansfield believes charter schools locate far from students on purpose - to be able to offer that transportation.
"A perfect example of that would be the charter school on Romig Road," Mansfield tells AkronNewsNow.com. "That is not in a neighborhood. It is purposely in an area where nobody lives, so we are forced to bus to those schools."
The Akron school board also approved a contract to provide as many as 100 Metro bus passes to students of a brand new charter school. Next Frontier Academy opened its doors on Copley Road one week ago.
Akron district officials say the moves come as the district has been forced to cut the transportation budget for its own students.
Mansfield says there's very little about charter schools that doesn't frustrate the board.
"The regulations that we are held to, and the standards we are held to, compared to the standards the charter schools are held to, they're not even comparable," Mansfield says.
District treasurer Jack Pierson told board members Monday that he has so far spotted an uptick in students leaving the Akron district for charter schools - about 250 students - after a decrease in those same numbers last year.
The school board was much happier with another donation by a hometown sports star.
This time, it's a high tech gift of over 700 Samsung tablets from the LeBron James Family Foundation...used by LeBron's computer campers this summer, but now destined to help third graders improve reading levels to meet state guidelines.
The Akron After School program will also get to use the tablets in LeBron's "Wheels for Education" program.
Akron native and Miami Heat star LeBron recently started an endorsement deal with Samsung.
The Akron school board also approved a resolution supporting the Akron Zoo's November renewal levy, Issue 3, and received an animal visitor.
Akron Zoo president/CEO L. Patricia Simmons brought along "Daisy the Armadillo", who pulled out of her shell and scurried along the floor of the board meeting room to the delight of most in the room...even if she scared a couple of people along the way.
Simmons noted the long partnership between the zoo and APS, and noted the November levy was a renewal at 0.8 mills with no additional tax.