Permit for Toledo school Pre-K expansion denied

Permit for Toledo school Pre-K expansion denied
Published: Aug. 17, 2023 at 8:24 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - The idea to expand Pre-K education into a new building in East Toledo is now on hold. Expansion plans for a charter school have been shot down by the Toledo city council.

Those school leaders say the fight may not be over.

The L. Hollingworth School on Miami Street has been around since 2009 so it’s not new to the neighborhood. Plans to expand it don’t look like they’ll happen right now.

There’s very little doubt what preschool can do for a child before entering a place like L. Hollingworth School.

“It’s a step ahead for them. They’re not coming in without any school experience. It’s a step ahead for the teachers who can hit the ground running,” Megan DeSloover, the head of the school said.

With limited space in the current building, the plan was to expand the Pre-K program across the street for the other roughly 14 kids planned for the program now with future expansion possible.

Tuesday in a 7-5 vote Toledo City Council rejected the special use permit for the new Pre-K building.

“We never imagined that we would be where we are right now. We were under the impression that doing something great for the community, doing something great for our parents and our students and our stakeholders would have been well received,” said Terrence Franklin, the school founder and superintendent.

These expansion plans were already approved by the Toledo plan commission but the council had the final say. School leaders say an appeal is a very real possibility. That happens through Common Pleas Court.

“This permit, as it has been submitted with everything being followed. The public meetings, everything that they have done. There was really no basis not to approve this permit,” Cheri Budzynski the attorney for the school said.

Frustrating to staff here is that they’re not getting a clear answer as to why they got a “no” vote and if there’s still room to figure out how to bring a valuable service to this part of town.

“It will help address some of the inequities in what our students and our population face,” DeSloover said.

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