Neighborhood wishes to transfer out of Groveport Madison school district

By Rick Palsgrove
Groveport Editor
Residents from a neighborhood located in Obetz and Hamilton Township, but whose children attend Groveport Madison Schools, are seeking to transfer their area to Hamilton Township Schools.

The neighborhood in question, McFadyens Acres, is located within the boundaries of the city of Obetz and Hamilton Township, just west of Alum Creek Drive.

Two McFadyens Acres residents spoke at the June 12 Groveport Madison Board of Education meeting and requested the transfer. They stated the neighborhood consists of 11 streets and that a petition signed by 178 of the 230 registered voters in the area favor the transfer request. They said their neighborhood is part of the Obetz and Hamilton Township community, participates in activities there, and residents feel “very displaced” in Groveport Madison. They said their kids play with Hamilton Township children, especially in Obetz area sports. They added, “We belong in Hamilton Township, it’s good for our kids, it’s what they need.”

According to the Ohio Revised Code, school district property transfers can only be requested in even numbered years.

When asked how such a transfer would affect the district financially and by enrollment, Groveport Madison officials stated, “At this time, we are going to decline comment until we are able to confer with our attorney’s office.”

According to Hamilton Local Schools Superintendent Mark Tyler, “This is something coming from members of the community. The school district is in no way involved. We are not in anyway attempting to take property from any other school district.”

According to city of Obetz officials, the city of Obetz has taken on a mediator role to ensure its residents’ concerns are heard and addressed appropriately.

“We do not have an official position on the transfer request itself, but we are aware that a substantial number of residents signed the petition for transfer,” said Obetz Public Relations Manager Kaitlin Duncan. “We are committed to supporting our residents through the process and facilitating constructive dialogue between all parties involved. The request is being led by a group of concerned citizens. ”

According to Duncan, approximately 124 students would be involved in the potential transfer to the Hamilton Local Schools.

“This number is based on the latest demographic data we have for the neighborhood,” said Duncan.

It’s possible this number could be lower as some students may be home schooled or attend a private school.

“The transfer process is still in its early stages,” said Duncan. “As we understand, there are two main paths for a boundary change. The first includes a petition, and ultimately approval by the state. The other, involves a negotiated agreement between the two school districts. We are aware that a petition was submitted, but did not make the deadline and was rejected by Groveport Madison. As a result, the citizens are now approaching the Groveport Madison school board and asking that they engage in the negotiated process. As far as we know, the Groveport Madison board has yet to determine whether it will engage in the negotiated change. The timeline for this process is not yet defined and will depend on various factors, including the willingness of the boards to participate, regulatory requirements, stakeholder engagement, and state approval (if required).”

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