Cleveland Metropolitan School District levy passes

CLEVELAND - For the first time in 16 years, voters have approved a levy for the Cleveland Metropolitan School District. With 99 percent of precincts reporting, the 15 mill levy passed by a margin of 57 percent to 43 percent.

Shortly after 11:30 p.m. Tuesday, Mayor Frank Jackson and CEO Eric Gordon thanked voters for approving the new tax.

"There is high expectation now of what we have to do in terms of transforming and reforming our education system," Jackson said. "We have those things in place that we need.  Now it's about execution and implementation of the plan with the financial support."

Gordon said the work of investing in kids begins tomorrow.  He plans to discuss the first steps at the school board meeting scheduled for Wednesday evening.

Gordon said those first steps would probably include getting kids back into school for a full day.  Recent budget cuts reduced the school day for K-8 students by 50 minutes. 

Without the levy, Cleveland schools would have faced more huge budget deficits and cuts, including hundreds of teachers.

The Cleveland Teachers Union issued a press release Tuesday night praising the residents of Cleveland.

"While hundreds of educators, parents, students and community members volunteered countless hours for this levy, in the end, it was the residents of the City of Cleveland who said "YES" to their schools and to their community," the statement said. "This is a victory for our entire community and for the City of Cleveland. "

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