Columbus Board of Education Approves November Levy Request to Better Serve Students, Continue Academic Gains, and Address Backlog of Infrastructure Needs
The Columbus Board of Education will seek voter approval in November for a levy that would allow Columbus City Schools to build upon student success in the classroom, better address social and emotional needs often brought from home, and begin tackling a multi-million-dollar backlog of overdue building maintenance, repairs, and replacements.
At a special meeting on July 21st, The Board voted unanimously to place a 6.92 combination levy/bond request on the upcoming November ballot.
The majority of the levy funding would be dedicated to the daily staffing and operating needs of the District -- Ohio’s largest with approximately 51,000 students -- now earning high marks from the State for helping a greater number of children achieve more than a year's worth of growth and learning each year in reading and math.
With the levy’s approval, the District would implement a responsible five-year plan to expand Pre-Kindergarten, place more social workers and licensed nurses in schools, add support for special education students, reduce class sizes by increasing educators in classrooms, enhance student safety, and provide more career-technical education opportunities to a greater number of students.
The ballot measure also includes the dedication of bond dollars to begin addressing a more-than-$200 million backlog of building maintenance, repairs, and replacements across the District.
The Board will ask for $125 million in bonding authority for capital improvements, such as repairs and replacements to roofs, electrical systems, classroom technology, walls and ceilings, playgrounds, and school buses.
The request also includes $4.4 million earmarked annually for an ongoing yearly program of maintenance, repair, and replacement, aimed at preventing future backlogs of major capital expenditures.
The levy, if approved by voters, would cost to the owner of a $100,000 home an additional $242 each year. This represents a 10% increase on the total property tax bill for residents within the Columbus City Schools district boundaries.
At their special meeting to vote on the levy option, Board members carefully weighed whether to also include a $225 million bond request to implement the next segments of the new Facilities Master Plan. The Board chose not to ask for the additional millage.
The Board’s decision follows the recommendations of a 23-member community-based Millage Committee and a lengthy, transparent budgeting process by the District’s administration over the past several months.
Over the next month, the District will have additional information about the levy request online at www.ccsoh.us and available through the new Columbus City Schools Mobile App.