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Columbus Mayor Says Schools Have "Failed" And Voters Should Approve New Levy

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Monday, August 19, 2013 at 5:43 PM

Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman

Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman

The Columbus school district's levy campaign kicked off with a television ad in which Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman says the Columbus schools have "failed us."

In the ad, Coleman goes on to say, "Quality edition should not depend on the color of a child's skin, how much money their parents make or the neighborhood they live in."

WOSU's Mike Thompson reports:

The ads promise a new direction for the school district by touting a plan developed by the mayor’s education commission. The campaign website notes that people involved in the data rigging scandal “have retired, been reassigned or relieved of their duties.”

Supporters also tout a new independent auditor who will serve as a “watchdog” over the Columbus City Schools.

The mayor’s education commission, branded Reimagine Columbus Education, has morphed into the campaign committee charged with trying to pass the levy on November’s ballot.

The 9.01-mill property-tax question will go before Columbus voters this fall. Eleven percent of the levy's proceeds would go to charter schools.

If approved, the levy would add about $315 per year per $100,000 of residential property value, a 23.5 percent increase, the Columbus Dispatch reports.

In comparison, last fall Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson campaigned for a 15-mill levy. Voters approved that levy, voting to increase school district property taxes by 50 percent.


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