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Cleveland: Mayor Jackson likely face and voice of levy

11:41 PM, Jul 19, 2012   |    comments
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CLEVELAND -- Mayor Frank Jackson has been the leader who has pushed to get state lawmakers to approve changes for a potential school makeover plan.

Now he's preparing to be the likely lead spokesperson for the challenging campaign to pass a massive 15-mill levy that would cost the average Cleveland homeowner almost $300 a year.

"This is not a levy to cover a deficit. This is a levy to execute a plan," he said.

"We could have gone for less millage and increase the likelihood of passage, but would not have been able to stand before you and say we would be able to guarantee a change," he said.

Jackson and Cleveland Schools CEO Eric Gordon met with reporters at City Hall the day after the school board gave its first reading approval to the unexpectedly large levy.

The theme of the campaign may be something like "Right Plan, Right Time, Right Team."

School officials will argue that part of the reason for the steep levy is the 16-year gap since the last school levy was passed.

The four-year levy would have 11 goals, including creating more good schools, attracting and retaining the best teachers, improving the graduation rate and achieving systemwide change that expands on incremental improvements.


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