Cleveland Metropolitan School District CEO Eric Gordon calls for levy renewal and 5-mill increase
Open letter to the editor:
Dear Friends and Supporters of Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD):
(Plain Press, August 2020) This evening (July 7, 2020), I made a recommendation to the Cleveland Board of Education that the Board consider asking the voters to renew our current 15-mill levy and to request a 5-mill increase to that levy. A half mill from the proposed increase would be shared with our partnering charter schools. If passed, this issue would add an additional $7 a month for the average home in Cleveland and would come up for renewal in 10 years.
I know this is a particularly hard time for many, but believe this request is necessary to keep up the progress we have made over the last eight years. During this period, our growth on test scores ranks among the strongest in the state. Our graduation rate has increased 26 points and now stands at 78.2 percent, the latest in a series of record highs for the district.
Our 15-mill levy, due to expire at the end of December, represents 12% of our operating budget, and unless voters renew it in November, the District stands to lose $67 million, forcing us to make cuts in staff and programs.
We have carefully controlled expenses in the last eight years and invested in our classrooms. This recommendation is needed to continue our progress and to manage unprecedented expenses caused by the COVID-19 outbreak.
To learn more about this recommendation, you may go to the District’s website, www.clevelandmetroschools.org, to view my full presentation to the Board.
Thank you for the opportunity to share information about this important recommendation to continue the progress we have made together over the last eight years.
Chief Executive Officer