Dayton Schools to vote on contract for athletic director

Dayton’s school board plans to vote tonight on a two-year contract renewal for district athletic director Mark Baker, in the wake of major state penalties imposed on Dayton Public Schools athletic programs.

The school board meets at 5:30 p.m. at the board offices, 115 S. Ludlow St. in downtown Dayton. DPS board business meetings often last at least two hours.

Most DPS personnel moves come through a recommendation from the superintendent, but the Baker vote is listed as a “board resolution,” meaning the school board members appear to be driving this vote.

Dayton Public Schools AD Mark Baker

Last fall, Dunbar’s football team used an ineligible player in two games, causing them to forfeit those games and be knocked out of the playoffs. The eligibility issue was missed by coaches, athletic directors and the principal.

But during the final game of the season, there was a back-and-forth debate over the star player’s eligibility. Once it was established, after he had already played, that he was ineligible, Dunbar officials told players to lose the game on purpose, believing they might still have an avenue to make the playoffs.

The Dunbar coaches said that directive came from Baker, who denied it during the school district’s investigation.

The Ohio High School Athletic Association placed all DPS athletic programs on three years of probation, fined them $10,000 and ordered administrators to undergo training, citing the district for “a lack of administrative responsibility and institutional control.”

** The agenda calls for a vote on a $2.5 million purchase requisition, to put a downpayment on the 115 school buses the board agreed to buy last month. School board members had a heated discussion on that issue, with one board member arguing the purchase put buses ahead of more important education issues.

** The Ohlmann Group, which was recently hired to do marketing work for the school district, is slated to make a “special presentation” to the school board.

** Several people are expected to speak about the district’s ongoing negotiations with its teachers union during the public comment period. The teachers’ contract expires at the end of this school year.

A Facebook group supporting Dayton teachers has urged people to come to the board meeting to show their support, and lists over 100 people planning to attend.

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