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Columbus Levy Campaign Begins With TV Ads Claiming Schools "Failing"

Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman today launched the school district's levy campaign by saying, "recently our schools have failed us." After a scandal-plagued year, which included the departure of the district's superintendent, school leaders may have no other choice. The ads promise a new direction for the school district by touting a plan developed by the mayor's education commission. The campaign website notes that people involved in the data rigging scandal "have retired, been reassigned or relieved of their duties." Supporters also tout a new independent auditor who will serve as a "watchdog" over the Columbus City Schools. The mayor's education commission, branded Reimagine Columbus Education, has morphed into the campaign committee charged with trying to pass the levy on November's ballot. In a filing with the Franklin County Board of Elections it reported having $63,755 on hand. Developer Robert Weiler and Smoot Construction each donated $25,000. If approved by voters, the 9.01 mil levy would bring in an additional $77 million to the Columbus City Schools, and in a new twist, would share levy money with charter schools. $8.5 million would go to the publicly funded but privately run schools. The levy would add $315 in new taxes for each $100,000 in property value.