Cleveland Metropolitan School District supporters rally outside Cuyahoga County Board of Elections

CLEVELAND - Supporters of Cleveland schools rally outside the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections on the first day of early voting, chanting "Right plan. Right now."

Campaign manager for issue 107, Blaine A. Griffin, said the group is there trying to get "a strong early vote pushed so people can vote until the end of the ballot."

"This is a critical time in our city's history," said Griffin. "We're asking our community to make a 63 cent investment a day to hire high quality teachers and to improve technology. If we don't pass this, we stand the chance to lay off teachers and make $50 million in cuts."

Griffin believes the "yes" vote is an important investment in children and the city.

"We need to rally around our children to make sure we have reform in our school district. The city of Cleveland residents can expect great things with the passage of this levy," said Griffin.

Those rallying for the schools fears what would happen to the children in the district if the operating levy isn't passed. Griffin best explained it from a student's point of view.

"'I love art. But how can I love art and I don't have an art teacher?'"

Griffin said if we don't have the necessary funding in place to make investments, "there's nothing left to cut."

"People of Cleveland need to realize we haven't passed an operating levy to hire teachers in 16 years. We need to make this critical investment. This is the right plan, right now."

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