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Critics Voice Opposition to Columbus School Levy
COLUMBUS (Lu Ann Stoia/Ken Hines) -- For the first time Wednesday, organized opponents spoke out against Columbus City Schools ballot issues 50 and 51.
The group called Citizens Against Issues 50 and 51 is made up of pastors, PTA members, and civic groups who say the need for the untested Columbus Education Plan is not justified by the facts.
The district is seeking a 9.01 mil combined operating levy and bond issue on the November, 2013 ballot. The issue would raise taxes by 24 percent and cost homeowners $315 per $100,000 of home value.
Mother of two Maria Kozelek, who has lived in the district 15 years, turned out to voice her opposition to the issues.
I love my teachers, but this levy lacks details and a plan, Kozelek said.
In a news release distributed Wednesday by the pro-levy campaign, urban faith leaders from 15 congregations announced support for the levy. The ministers endorsed the issues as a giant step toward improving our schools, and said, Now is not the time to abandon our children.
Bishop Timothy Clarke, President of the Brotherhood of the Common Life, said these are challenging times but, in moments like this, there are those who would sound the alarm to retreat, but it is precisely because of the challenges before us that we cannot do that.
CCS Superintendent Dan Good said, if the levy does not pass, the district will have to make approximately $50 million in cuts, many of which could involve jobs.
This is a reform package, a way to transform the way we do business in Columbus City Schools, Good said.