The editorial board of Cleveland.com and The Plain Dealer endorsed Issue 68 on Oct. 4. Here is an excerpt of the editorial explaining the endorsement. Click here to read the editorial in its entirety.
Cleveland voters did their children and the whole region a service in 2012 when they first approved, by a significant margin, a 15-mill Cleveland school levy that enable pathbreaking and wide-ranging reforms known as The Cleveland Plan. The plan made the entire school system -- including high-performing charter schools -- one of far greater options and choice, and with a new commitment to excellence. Four years later, voters renewed that levy because the reforms were working.
Today, on top of the academic gains -- an 80% graduation rate compared with 52% before the Cleveland Plan was implemented eight years ago -- is the “Say Yes” Cleveland promise to each one of those Cleveland school graduates, who meet the guidelines, of a tuition-free college or Pell-eligible trade or vocational education. The Say Yes program is in just its second year but -- thanks to the incredible financial commitment made by Clevelanders and the Cleveland Foundation -- is already giving Cleveland public school graduates opportunities for educational advancement unavailable just a few years ago to their older siblings, or, indeed, to graduates of most public school systems in America.
The Cleveland levy is again up for renewal this year as Issue 68 on the Nov. 3 ballot, as a 10-year renewal levy plus a 5-mill increase. The increase is necessitated in part by the district’s enormous, unanticipated COVID-19 expenses, including more than $17 million spent on new technology to allow more students to learn from home.
It’s critical that Clevelanders continue their support for a levy that’s meant so much to the city’s youth and their futures, widening their educational options and setting the stage for a real change in horizons that will have ripple effects to help this region thrive.