Thousands of children returning to school in Cleveland will find some changes

CLEVELAND - In the largest number of northeast Ohio children returning to school, Cleveland students begin their first day of class Wednesday.

Some parents will need to pay close attention to school schedules. Pre-K through eighth grade schools are on new schedules because their school day has been cut by 50 minutes due to budget cuts. On the plus side, by staggering their schedules, more students should be able to ride buses now.

This year also marks the first day of school for one school. The Facing History-New Tech is a first of its kind in the nation because it will have a social justice component that other New Tech high schools do not have.

Students will focus on civic responsibility, tolerance and social action in a project-based learning environment. The new school is located on Montclair Avenue.

Furthermore, the new school year heralds the call for a new Cleveland school levy. In November, voters in the midst of an economic downturn will be asked to support a levy that would fund the district's transformation plan called the Cleveland Plan. Some parents are concerned about the levy because a fraction of the levy money would go toward charter schools.

If the levy fails, Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson previously told NewsChannel5 the plan would still go ahead somehow, however the levy is the plan's funding resource.

Ohio Governor John Kasich signed into law a blueprint based on the Cleveland schools transformation plan. The bill would have the state, a Jackson-approved panel and a charter school association review applications by community school sponsors. It also calls for national standards to be applied to charter schools to maintain quality.

Visit the CMSD website here: http://on.wews.com/OOUU0R

The back to school webpage for Cleveland schools is here: http://on.wews.com/NjidzF

The starts times for school can be found at: http://on.wews.com/OOUN5l

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