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Issue 68: Clevelanders approve tax increase for schools; CMSD CEO says he’s “grateful”

More than 60 percent of voters supported the levy Tuesday, with 95 percent of votes in.

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Voters approved a tax levy renewal and increase Tuesday allowing Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) to avoid cuts to programming and manage unexpected costs brought on by the pandemic, according to the district.

CMSD CEO Eric Gordon told 19 News Wednesday morning he’s grateful the community voted to approve the levy. Gordon said the additional funding will go towards increasing graduation rates, making progress on math and reading scores, and expanding early childhood education, among other things.

“The community invested in us, and we have shown a return on this investment,” Gordon said of the progress the district has made in reducing class sizes and expanding high school options after voters approved a levy in 2012 and a levy renewal in 2016.

More than 60% of voters supported the levy, according to preliminary county election results.

The measure was passing by about 61 to 39% shortly after midnight Wednesday morning.

More than 95% of in-person ballots had been counted. Both absentee and early in-person ballots were both partially counted.

Issue 68 includes a 5-mill increase that will help the district offset unanticipated expenses related to the pandemic, according to the district.

The levy would have also replaced a 15-mill levy approved by Cleveland voters in 2012.

The Cleveland Teachers Union said, “The increase will add less than $7 a month to the amount paid by the owner of a home with the median value of a home in Cleveland (under $45,000).”

If the measure failed to pass, the district would have had to cut yearly spending by $66 million a year, according to the teacher’s union.

See the story from Cleveland 19 News here >>


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