The Cleveland School District is going to ask voters this November to approve an almost fifty percent hike in school taxes---an average increase for most households of about $295 dollars a year. And all we can say is: good luck with that.
The additional tax funds would go to finance yet another plan to re-vitalize the ailing district and improve graduation rates. Spearheaded by Mayor Jackson and completed with the support of the state legislature and Governor Kasich, this plan may well represent the best hope for improving the district that we have seen in years. But economically, it is hardly the best time to propose this kind of huge increase. And you can't blame the average taxpayer for being skeptical. While it's true the district hasn't had an operating increase since 1996…it is also true that no previous amount of money poured into the city's schools has ever seemed to improve grades or graduation rates. The mayor and the school district will have to provide a pretty convincing sales pitch if this tax has any chance of being approved.
Write and let me know what you think. I'm Bill Applegate and here's the address.