CMSD Levy Endorsed by Ohio City, Inc. and Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization
To the editor:
(Plain Press, October 2012) The Near West Side neighborhoods of Ohio City and Detroit Shoreway are experiencing incredible development and investment. Market Square and Gordon Square are thriving commercial districts and new and rehabilitated housing is booming as more people are attracted to our community including young families. We have an opportunity this election to make a very important investment in our future: funding the education of our children.
Education is even more important today because of the skills needed to gain employment. Jobs in manufacturing often require technology skills. Individuals without quality education are often faced with low wage employment and consuming more in benefits than they contribute in taxes. It is essential that we graduate children from high school. In recent years, the Cleveland Municipal School District (CMSD) has made marked improvements. Graduation rates have increased by 23% since the last levy was passed in 1996. We need to continue this progress in order for Cleveland to be competitive in the global economy and retain and attract businesses to Cleveland. High quality schools affect the property values in a neighborhood. That’s why voters in Shaker Heights and Lakewood consistently support school levies. Lakewood has passed 5 levies in the past 15 years. In contrast, Cleveland has passed only 3 levies in 42 years!
The Plain Press editorial in September raised concerns about whether or not tax abatement is a sound development policy for Cleveland and the contribution of tax exempt organizations to our economy. Under Mayor Frank Jackson, the Cleveland Schools have been reimbursed for potential loss of revenue from commercial tax abatement. The CMSD must approve those abatements that impact the schools revenue. We need to remember that businesses contribute approximately 50% of revenues generated from the levy. We can’t be distracted from two obvious realities: CMSD needs increased revenues to be successful and children deserve high quality education.
Approving this levy is critical to build on our progress in our neighborhoods. We hope that you join Mayor Frank Jackson, Councilmen Joe Cimperman and Matt Zone, and Ohio City, Inc. and Detroit Shoreway CDO in supporting this levy. Please contact us if you would like to discuss the levy or wish to volunteer.
Executive Director Ohio City, Inc.
Executive Director Detroit Shoreway CDO