COLUMBUS (WCMH) — A lack of trust and money. Many Columbus residents said Monday night those are the things keeping them from voting for the Columbus City School levy and bond issue on the November ballot. Monday night the district held a meeting to convince voters their dollars would be well spent.
The district said it’s trying to regain voters’ confidence by being transparent, showing exactly where their tax dollars would go.
Sharon Walters has lived in the Beechcroft Community nearly all her life. She came to Alpine Elementary Monday night looking for answers from Columbus City Schools Superintendent Dr. Dan Good.
“I want to hear the justification for the bond issue,” said Walters. “They had tried to get one passed before we voted it down and so they’ve got to have some more answers.”
Walters voted no to the last levy that failed in 2013.
“I thought there was a lot of money being wasted and I didn’t think it was justified at the time,” she said.
Dr. Good said this levy and bond is much smaller than the last; funds that would go to hiring 324.5 nurses, teachers, social workers and others. 290 of which the District said would work directly with students every day. Here’s a breakdown of the proposed new staffing.
“None of those are administrative positions. Not a single one,” said Dr. Good.
$125 million would be used for building maintenance, repairs and improvements as well as safety and security upgrades in schools.
Dr. Good said if it doesn’t pass, cuts will come.
“We didn’t want to go down a path of threatening people. That if you don’t pass this we’ll have to make reductions here. We know we have enough to get through two more years, but we would have to start making reductions almost immediately in order to stretch that two years to four years,” said Dr. Good.
Walters said there’s a chance she can still be convinced to vote yes.
“Trust is the big one if you can prove to me let me see it’s being used wisely.”
The levy and bond would cost the owner of a $100,000 home an extra $242 a year. The last levy failed in 2013. That proposal raised property taxes by nearly 24 percent.
To learn more about Issue 57 from the Columbus City School District visit: http://www.ccsoh.us/Issue57.aspx.