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Issue 47 campaign kick-off rally planned
The Grove City Church of the Nazarene, 4770 Hoover Road in Grove City, will be the setting for the Issue 47 campaign kick-off rally planned by Citizens for South-Western City Schools on Sunday, October 4 at 3 p.m.
This event, open to the public, will feature a number of speakers, student-produced videos, and a special appearance by Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray, a graduate of Grove City High School and parent of two SWCS students. Campaign materials and yard signs also will be available.
Cordray, an undefeated five-time champion and Tournament of Champions semifinalist on Jeopardy!, will host a mock version of the game at the event with student contestants.
Members of Citizens for South-Western City Schools are holding the rally to garner support for Issue 47, a 7.4-mill operating levy for South-Western City Schools on the November 3 ballot.
Supporters for the levy say the passage of Issue 47 is vital to protecting education for every one of the nearly 21,000 students in South-Western City Schools and to the future of the community.
“Strong schools are essential to the economic stability of every community in the district,” said campaign co-chair Jill Billman-Royer. “If we don’t protect our schools, it will cost us all in families and neighbors moving, lost jobs and job opportunities, fewer student opportunities and significant declines in property value. This isn’t just about reinstating sports, marching band and busing,” she added.
Proponents of Issue 47 say that the district is fiscally responsible as evidenced by the district ranking 14th of 16 districts in Franklin County in per pupil spending. The district has cut $22 million and 350 positions in the last three years. All teachers and staff have agreed to pay freezes, and the labor unions are working closely with administration to find other cost-saving measures.
Even with the passage of Issue 47, the district will have to make another $15 million in cuts over the next four years.. The district has invited independent oversight from the State Auditor by asking for an audit of operational and financial management, and the district will follow these recommendations. Additionally, at the suggestion of the community, an independent Community Advisory Group has been created and is charged with reviewing and recommending improvements in finances, administration and communications.
The Board lowered the millage on Issue 47 to make it more affordable. The cost of the November levy is less than $19 per month per $100,000 home valuation. With an average home cost of $169,600 in SWCS, the average taxpayer would pay less than $8 per week.
Without Issue 47, SWCS will have to make $34 million in deep, destructive cuts over the next two school years – these massive cuts will significantly impact basic educational programs that children need for college and jobs.
“Failure of Issue 47 will devastate the quality of our children’s education and our community,” said co-chair Mark Mayers. “The district has passed only one operating levy in 15 years. We can’t just continue to cut our way out of this. It’s time for the voters to stand up for our children, our community, and our future,” he added.
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