CEA Endorses Issue 75


cea-logo_quarter.JPGThe Columbus Education Association Legislative Assembly, comprised of Senior Faculty Representatives and Faculty Representatives from schools throughout Columbus City Schools wholeheartedly endorsed a full slate of candidates and issues at the first meeting of the year, held Sept. 11, 2008.Legislative Assembly members soundly endorsed Issue 75, the combined bond/levy package put forth by Columbus City Schools for the upcoming general election.

For more information on Issue 75, click the jump below.

The Columbus City School District is facing a funding crisis, one that can roll back significant gains of the past four years.

– These gains are among the reasons our schools are regaining faith and trust from Columbus citizens.
– Overall state report card improved from Academic Emergency to Continuous Improvement (from “F” to “C”).
– Graduation rates rose to 70% in 2007 from 54% in 2001.
– There is a significant decrease in the rate of children leaving district schools.
– The school district met the state’s new standard for one year’s worth of academic progress.

We must pass Issue 75 to maintain this progress and restore previous cutbacks.

– Restore in-school suspension programs in middle and high schools
– Restore professional development days
– Restore an hour of the school day

Other consequences of the current funding shortage may be more obvious to educators and others in the community…

– Elementary art programs at minimum number of minutes
– Reduced unified arts program in middle schools
– Loss of electives in high school
– Combined student levels (e.g. foreign language) in one class
– PEAK (in-school suspension program) dropped since 2004 in middle and high school
– Increased class size; at maximum in most buildings
– Loss of more than 700 teaching positions since 2004
– Lower real estate values when school quality suffers
– Reduced quality of life in neighborhoods
– Problems attracting businesses and other community-enhancing services

The school district is working hard to exercise fiscal responsibility. It has…

– Kept its promise to not ask for new funds since the 2004 levy passed
– Placed a 3% cap on spending
– Closed and/or consolidated 21 schools
– Strengthened financial oversight with an expanded Audit and Accountability Committee, and
– Issued a quarterly fiscal report card

What will it cost?

Columbus homeowners would pay an additional $275 a year for every $100,000 in property valuation, which is less than $23 per month, $5 per week or 75 cents per day. Seniors (65+) would pay much less.