CMSD Report Card’s Property Value Implications

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CLEVELAND -- It is almost report card time for the Cleveland Metropolitan School District.

A second round of preliminary report card data will be released next week.

"(Tuesday) night, the State Board of Education voted to release the spread sheets.  A spread sheet that contains all the data used to calculate the report cards," said Senator Shirley Smith, (D), of District 21.

According to the Board, the information will be made public on Oct. 17.

"Most schools won't get that report until next Wednesday.  However, some schools have that system, a secure data center, that will allow them access.  Cleveland Municipal School District does have that system, so in other words they do have the ability to access those records," said Senator Smith.

Last month, a preliminary version of the report card revealed the district will most likely fall into academic emergency.

That also means the district will most likely fall under some form of state control.

The scenario comes amid a campaign for the Cleveland Plan, a polarizing 15-mill tax increase on the November ballot.

"I have faith in the people of Cleveland.  I also recognize that it's difficult to ask people to pay that 63 cents a day but I'm asking us to set aside some money to make sure we make an investment today that actually can help us improve the quality of our schools," said Eric Gordon, CEO of CMSD.

The tax would be about 63 cents a day for a property worth $50,000.

That is about $19 a month.

"I am very concerned.  Because those who have to pay this levy are homeowners. So it's really going to affect people in my neighborhood, because I have one of the most residential neighborhoods in my ward," added Coucilman Zack Reed, who opposes the tax.

If voters approve the levy, it will only be effective for four years.

"People are concerned about property values, and we know that the driving force behind property values is the quality of education in the community," added Gordon.

Final report cards will most likely be released in December, after an investigation into whether schools fixed attendance records to get a better grade.

If the school is found officially in an academic emergency, the state would take control of the district, ultimately affecting the levy.

"Based on the law, the commission comes in with the statutory authority and they are making all the decisions. If there is a tax levy, they would have authority over that based on state law," said Senator Smith.