by Tom Ott
CMSD News Bureau
The Cleveland Metropolitan School District wants to continue modernizing its buildings, an effort that began after the gym roof at the former East High School collapsed 14 years ago. Since then, the District has built and renovated 41 schools.
Work completed so far in the Ohio City-Tremont area includes construction of three new schools: Buhrer Dual Language, Orchard STEM and Paul L. Dunbar.
If voters approve Issue 4 on Nov. 4, CMSD would work with the community in deciding whether to refurbish Tremont Montessori School, construct a new building or pursue a hybrid of those two options.
A revised Master Facilities Plan also calls for improving Luis Munoz Marin and Scranton schools.
Approval of Issue 4 would not raise taxes, and the state would contribute more than $2 for every $1 the District spends on new construction.
Under The Cleveland Plan, a state-approved blueprint for education reform, CMSD seeks to provide quality school options in every neighborhood.
Across the city, CMSD would build 20 to 22 schools and refurbish 20 to 23 others if Issue 4 passes.
Issue 4 includes a $200 million bond issue for new construction and a half-mill levy that would generate $2.5 million a year for maintaining buildings.
The Board of Education has prioritized the hiring of city residents, minorities, women and small businesses on construction projects.
To learn more about Issue 4 and the Master Facilities Plan, go to www.clevelandmetroschools.org/masterplan
ISSUE 4 FAST FACTS
- Issue 4 will allow for construction of 20 to 22 new schools and the refurbishing of 20-23 schools, and it also will generate $2.5 million a year for building maintenance – all without raising taxes.
- The state will provide more than $2 for every $1 the District spends on new construction. That means Issue 4 will bring in an estimated $256.8 million from the state for Cleveland’s schools without raising taxes.
- Issue 4 authorizes $200 million in bonds for new construction and a half-mill tax for maintenance.
- CMSD has spent its construction dollars prudently while building and renovating 41 schools since 2001. The District saved taxpayers $42.2 million by refinancing and paying off debt early.
- The CMSD facilities plan that is to be funded by Issue 4 is aligned with the groundbreaking Cleveland Plan. The facilities plan gives CMD the flexibility to start more new school models and provide every neighborhood with access to quality school options.
- The Cleveland Board of Education has adopted the city’s Community Benefits Agreement to guide future construction. That will prioritize employment of city residents, minorities, females and small businesses on CMSD projects.
The independent Bond Accountability Commission, which was created in 2001, will continue to monitor the use of bond funds.