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Cleveland: Schools, levy will impact entire region

5:01 PM, Jul 19, 2012   |    comments
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CLEVELAND -- Only Cleveland voters will decide whether to approve a supersized levy to enact a potentially transformative Cleveland schools improvement plan.

Only Cleveland school students, public and charter, will be impacted.

But many think the levy and the schools' future will have a dramatic impact on the outlook for Northeast Ohio's economy.

Greater Cleveland Partnership Vice President Carol Caruso says, "Anyone who cares about the future of Northeast Ohio and Greater Cleveland should care about this...If we don't educate our children, we won't attract the jobs and the industries we need in our community."

Kent State University Trustee Dennis Eckart says the cost of giving Cleveland schools graduates remedial classes to get them to a college-ready level adds to the overall cost of higher education.

"When that happens the cost of college education goes up for everyone...Whether it's Chagrin Falls or Collinwood, young people have to be ready to work or learn from day one...When part of that group can't, the community has a smaller pool of educated workers or students and that costs us all," Eckart said.

MMPI Vice President Jim Bennett is now the local point man for the Medical Mart/Convention Center project.

He's been involved with past levy and school support campaigns and many civic efforts.

"We are needing to employ directly or indirectly thousands of people..The better those kids are educated the better they handle sklls and the more successful we'll be in something critical," he said.

And if schools don't succeed, there's an additional social cost to taxpayers.

The Cleveland Foundation's Program Director for Education Helen Williams said, "When children are not educated, they wind up in a public system, either in prison or welfare and we all pay for that."

Cleveland voters will decide if the levy passes. And their decision will impact their budgets, the city's children and the region's economic potential.

Cleveland School Levy coverage

http://www.wkyc.com/news/specials/ClevelandSchoolLevy/default.aspx

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