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Mayor Rallies Support For Cleveland Schools Plan As Bill Stalls In Legislature

Wednesday, May 23, 2012 at 5:57 PM

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On the eve of a House committee vote on the Cleveland Schools Plan, Mayor Frank Jackson is concerned a few legislators might hold up the process. Ideastream’s Michelle Kanu reports Jackson plans to make a personal appeal to the House Education Committee on Thursday.

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Jackson assembled school, business, and union leaders to rally community support for his Cleveland Schools plan. Jackson held the rally with a group of students at Garrett Morgan HS, the only district building to house a charter school.

The plan to transform Cleveland Schools calls for revising seniority rules in teacher contracts, giving schools more control over their budget, and partnering with more charter schools.  Mayor Frank Jackson had hoped lawmakers would approve the Cleveland Plan by the end of the week, but momentum has stalled.

At issue is a provision to create a panel of school and business leaders to monitor the performance and approval of new charter schools in the district.  Some charter advocates and a few Republican lawmakers worry the so called “Transformation Alliance” would play favorites against certain groups that run charter schools.

Heeding those concerns, Jackson says he has offered concessions, changing the focus of the alliance to approve charter authorizers—or those who start up the schools—rather than just the schools themselves. 

Addressing a crowd of reporters, Jackson says he’s not willing to discuss other changes.

Jackson: “There’s an attempt to ask us to agree to a delay so we can have a conversation around the interest of two percent, as opposed to the interest of 98 percent, and we refuse to do it.”

Jackson says the district is depending on the bill to pass so it can move forward with asking voters to approve a tax levy to pay for the plan.
Jackson says the legislature’s failure to act will only delay that. 

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Education, Government/Politics

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