Cleveland Indians comment on city councilman's school funding request

Zack Reed suggests pro sports teams should do more

CLEVELAND - The Cleveland Indians commented Thursday on a request by a city councilman that the owners of the city's professional sports teams provide financial support for the city's public schools.

During a meeting with Browns owner Jimmy Haslam Wednesday, Cleveland City Councilman Zack Reed pointed to the 15 mill levy Cleveland schools have on the ballot in November and suggested that the owners could help ease the burden.

"You don't pay property taxes, so would you consider sitting down like they do in places like Boston and saying in lieu of the fact that we don't pay property taxes, we'd like to give you a stipend as we move forward to ensure that the funding is in place for a good, well-rounded education," Reed said on Wednesday.

In an email to NewsChannel5, Curtis Danburg, senior director of communications for the Cleveland Indians, said the Dolan family "saved the CMSD high school baseball and softball programs years ago and continues to fund annually both programs. Overall, we have contributed $2.4 million to CMSD for those efforts," he said.

Haslam responded to Reed on Wednesday, explaining that his involvement with a program in Tennessee helped increase the number of high school graduates going on to college.

"We understand the importance of education, public school education, and we want to be supportive because if we don't do a good job in public school education, our kids aren't going to have the same kind of opportunities that you and I had," he said.

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