Though it hasn’t officially been announced yet, what appears to be a pro-Columbus school levy group has set up a website and posted a video starring Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman.

The video and the website,, both tout the Columbus Education Plan, a series of recommendations developed by a mayoral commission recently codified in House Bill 167.

ColumbusPlanThe plan calls for the creation of a new independent auditor position and requires the school board to put a levy on the ballot that will include sharing funding with charter schools.

The video and the website were both paid for by Reimagine Columbus Education.

“Columbus schools are failing our community, and this is unacceptable”, says the website’s home page. “We can change our schools and help every child by supporting the Columbus Education Plan proposal.”

The site specifically mentions the so-called “data scrubbing scandal” that helped discourage board members from pursuing a levy proposal for last year’s ballot.  The website claims those involved in the “scandal” have left the district or been reassigned, and suggests that a new, independent auditor would help “root out fraud and abuse” in the future.

The website and video both suggest the plan will fix educational inequalities related to a child’s race, family income or neighborhood.

The website also addresses one of the most contentious parts of the plan – sharing 1 mil of the 9.01 mil levy with charter schools – by stressing that only non-profit, high-performing, strategically located charters will be funded with money from the levy.   

We are further warned that Columbus schools may see “fewer teachers, staff and school activities” if the levy isn’t passed.

Here’s the video: 

  • jr6020

    As a retired Cols schoolteacher (21 years in the district) I have always supported CPS levies. Now, I am not so sure. This idea of sharing levy monies with charters will only weaken the financial viability of the CPS. I am fearful if this levy passes, the forces behind this scheme will go after what they really want…levy monies for private and parochial schools and less and less for the public schools. This is their ultimate goal…the end of public education and the collective bargaining rights of its workers…James, Cols

  • Give up control of our district and give away funds to charter schools? This may also be the first time I vote no on a levy

  • Jor Dough

    Kasuck has taken Mikey to the mountaintop and shown him the promised land of bushels of cash and contributions and “contributions” (wink wink) from the public education haters, i.e., charter school operators and their aficionados to their lackey pols.

    D or R the vultures have arrived and want the voters to provide another carcass for them to devour. When will Mikey start hating women and abortions, loving guns and suppressing voters?

    It’s screw the kids and rip off taxpayers and parents with fear mongering propaganda.

  • jr6020

    I must admit I’m puzzled why the Mayor and CEA leadership have bought into this scheme. The old CEA under John Grossman would never back this idea- I know, I was part of the leadership back then (as a CEA Governor). Maybe some back room deals have been struck between the Mayor / CEA with Kasich and his allies…But why anyone like a big city DEM major and a strong labor group like CEA trust that bunch is beyond me. Let’s hope the forces behind these ads will slip up and actually use Kasich to make the pitch…then I will be a sure “No” vote for that levy…

  • dmoore2222

    Coleman’s ego has got the best of him. This is a loser of immense proportions. I don’t see how he sees anything good coming from this. This may be his Waterloo.

  • Mama Bear

    The district failed the community. Their lack of leadership and professionalism failed our children. The Mayor is making some strong statements against our schools/teachers and implies race has something to do with education. Uh, nobody in CCS is getting a great education right now. Additionally, there is plenty of administrative WASTE that needs to be let go. This will be the first time I will vote NO on a levy.

  • Think.

    Don’t believe everything you read in the Columbus Dispatch- the newspaper’s negative stories about CPS are part of the charter school movement’s relentless attacks to destroy our country’s public education system:
    Use a media barrage to publicize a perceived problem and then fix that problem with a privatization scheme.
    Classic ALEC operating procedure!

  • Kay Wiliams


    Look at Cleveland, right now. They were given the same promises- that charters would be “high performing” and “carefully selected”.

    It’s the same old cast of corrupt charter operators with new names. The city has absolutely no control over which charter locates there. The charter operates rolled right over the city and they’re flooding the city with privatized schools.

    This is a public school privatization scheme. Vote “no”.

    Columbus will regret this.

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