Obetz neighborhood seeks to transfer out of Groveport Madison school district


By Rick Palsgrove
Southeast Editor

A neighborhood in the village of Obetz is seeking to transfer out of the Groveport Madison school district to the Hamilton Township school district.

“We’re not against Groveport Madison,” said Obetz resident Bill Perry. “We want to keep this positive. This is all about the kids.”

The neighborhood is located west of Alum Creek Drive, north of I-270, east of Charlotte Road, and south of the railroad tracks. Streets in this neighborhood include Sandridge, Bridlewood, Stegner, Lindsay, East Howard, Ethel, Charlotte, Rodger, Maureen and Jermoore. Properties west of Charlotte Road are in the Hamilton Township school district.

“We want to unify the neighborhood,” said Perry. “This will unite our community into one school district instead of being split in two.”

On March 1, Obetz residents Gary and Robyn Hensley presented to Groveport Madison Schools a letter and a petition containing the signatures of 363 neighborhood residents requesting the transfer.

Additionally, Obetz Village Administrator Rod Davisson sent a letter dated March 1 to Groveport Madison expressing the village of Obetz’ support of their residents’ efforts to transfer their neighborhood from Groveport Madison Schools to Hamilton Township Schools.

Davisson noted that “all but this small portion of homes that are west of Alum Creek Drive are located in the Hamilton Local School District – which makes absolute sense as Alum Creek Drive provides a clean dividing line.”

“The school district boundaries divide the neighborhood in a haphazard fashion,” wrote Davisson.

He said this “artificial boundary” separates kids and families who live in the same area by school district.

“The proposed property transfer will unify this neighborhood,” wrote Davisson. “Children who play together will now be able to go to school together.”

Davisson added that the village of Obetz remains a “great regional supporter” of Groveport Madison Schools.

Perry said the neighborhood originally was in the Obetz Junction school district (which no longer exists). Davisson’s letter also notes the neighborhood previously was in the Hamilton Township school district.

Perry said that, in the 1950s, someone in the neighborhood lead a petition drive with 70 signatures to switch the neighborhood to Groveport Madison Schools and it has been there ever since.

Groveport Madison Superintendent Bruce Hoover said the Ohio Revised Code allows for school district property transfers in even numbered years. He said the Obetz neighborhood in question has about 80 to 90 students who attend Groveport Madison Schools.

Looking at the geographic situation of where the neighborhood is located, Groveport Madison school board member Bryan Shoemaker noted, “It is a strange slice of pie for our district.”
Which prompted this quick response from fellow board member Chris Snyder who asked, “As opposed to some of the other neighborhoods (in the district)?”

Hoover said Groveport Madison will fulfill its legal obligations and provide notice of the transfer request and the petitions to the Franklin County Board of Elections, which will verify that the transfer petitions contain the required 75 percent of signatures of registered voters. After the signatures are verified, Groveport Madison Schools and Hamilton Township Schools will each submit position papers regarding the transfer request to the State Board of Education for its review and hearings.

Hoover said the final decision on whether the transfer would take place is up to the district that would receive the properties, which in this case is Hamilton Township Schools.

“The receiving district (Hamilton Township) has all the power,” said Hoover, who added he assured the Obetz residents that Groveport Madison would like their neighborhood to remain in the Groveport Madison district.

Hoover said there are some residents in the neighborhood who have indicated they would like to stay in Groveport Madison Schools.

“We’ll work through the process and try to work with the families who want to stay,” said Hoover.

Hamilton Township Schools had no comment on the requested transfer situation, according to Hamilton Township Schools Director of Public Relations Vince Payne.

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  1. Hamilton Schools are directly behind my house, practically my backyard yet we are in Columbus City School District. I hope that Hamilton will eventually become open to accepting students in neighboring areas. Fortunately, it will be a few years before we have to make a decision on where our children will/can go.


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