CityBeat recently covered Cincinnati Public School’s (CPS) financial problems and what makes the levy renewal a necessity for the school (“Battered But Not Broken,” issue of Oct. 3). Under the broken state funding system for schools, CPS has to rely on levies to sustain and improve its education program. If CPS doesn’t get this levy renewed, it will be down $51.5 million — or approximately 11 percent of its budget — in 2015. That’s a hard hit to take after a decade of budget cuts at CPS. The school district has already cut about 22 percent of its total staff in the last 10 years and closed down 17 buildings.
It shouldn’t have to do more.
One criticism brought by the levy’s opponents is that the levy, which expires in 2015, is being brought to voters a full year too soon, which makes it harder to evaluate whether CPS deserves the continued funding. But the school has already made drastic cuts, and it claims education will be impacted if the levy is not approved. Holding CPS accountable by worsening the education of children is senseless. Plus, passing the levy early gives the school district breathing room to worry more about improving education and less about budgets.
To be clear, Issue 42 does not raise taxes. It simply maintains the status quo. All it does is provide a little financial stability for a school district that has been plagued by local, state and federal budget cuts and a recession that greatly reduced property tax revenues.