COLUMBUS (WCMH) – A Columbus City Schools levy, Issue 57, would raise Columbus school property taxes by about 18 percent. The millions of dollars raised by Issue 57 would upgrade Columbus City School buildings and increase school staffing levels.
A “yes” vote would raise about $50 million to hire more than 300 new teachers and staff members. The proposal includes hiring 76 special education intervention specialists, 41 pre-kindergarten teachers, 36.5 instructional assistants, 34 teachers for gifted students, 32 English as a second language teachers, 25 social workers, 19 buildings/grounds/technology staff, 16 career-technical teachers, 16 licensed nurses, ten security personnel, nine academic services staff members, four internal auditors, three student transportation dispatchers and three human resource staff members.
The levy would also generate another $125 million for school building maintenance during the next five years. A number of schools would get air conditioning for the first time and other AC or heating systems would be upgraded costing $75 million to $85 million. Leaking roofs would cost $21 million to $24 million to fix. Outdated electrical systems would be upgraded with $8.25 million to $9.5 million. Outdated fire alarms, emergency lighting, water pipes, hot water tanks, restrooms, potholes, and inadequate lighting would also be fixed.
Columbus voters rejected a levy for Columbus City Schools back in 2013. That levy would have raised school property taxes by 24 percent — 6 percent more than the current proposed levy associated with Issue 57.