CMSD Board Votes to Put Levy on Ballot
CLEVELAND – Cleveland Metropolitan School District board members gave their final approval on Tuesday night to put a levy on the November ballot to fund Cleveland’s ailing schools.
Nine school board members voted unanimously to put the levy on the ballot.
“This is about not doing business as usual, but doing unusual business and really getting the result our community deserves and our kids need,” District CEO Eric Gordon said.
In early July, Ohio Governor John Kasich signed ‘The Cleveland Plan,’ as it’s called, into law, giving the district more independence over hiring, firing and even rewarding teachers.
The district will also work more closely with charter schools.
“For 63-cents a day we are going to be able to actually implement our legislation in the Cleveland Plan. We are going to be able to focus on outcomes, dramatically improve the graduation rate,” Gordon said.
Gordon said the tax would be about 63-cents a day for a property worth $50,000.
That is about $19 a month.
If voters approve the levy, it will only be effective for four years.
Voters would then decide if the tax stays or goes.
“And we can vote it up or vote it down and at least this way we can see whether it has worked, whether it’s working, or whether it has not worked,” said parent and retired teacher Annaliesa Henley, who supports the levy.
A handful of people who do not want the levy showed up at the board meeting.
“We don’t think they can do a good job with the school levy,” said Satinder P.S. Puri.
The levy could bring in up to $85 million a year, but Gordon said that in reality it will be closer to $65 million a year.