Voters last week approved a key property tax increase to raise money for Ohio’s Cleveland Metropolitan School District as the district launches a major reform effort.
The levy is expected to raise $85 million over the next for years. Some of the money will go to charter schools, a controversial and unprecedented aspect of the city’s reform plan.
The passage was a victory for Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson, who campaigned heavily for the increase, telling voters it would allow the city to reshape the struggling district.
The city will set up a new governing body that, among other things, is allowed to make significant changes to teacher contracts.
The district faced a $66 million deficit coming into the new 2012 school year. District officials laid off more than 500 teachers in addition to other cuts.