Northland News

Columbus City Schools

Dr. Good will discuss levy, other issues at forum

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An education forum scheduled for this evening, Thursday, Oct. 17, is being jointly sponsored by the North Linden Area Commission and Northland Community Council.

The gathering, which gets underway at 6:30 p.m. in the library at Brookhaven High School, 4077 Karl Road, is being called "Community Conversation About the Columbus Education Plan and the 2013 Levy Package."

J. Daniel Good, interim superintendent for Columbus City Schools, will be the featured speaker.

"Basically, it's an opportunity to get to know the superintendent and talk to him about issues like the levy that people will be curious about," Northland Community Council President Emmanuel V. Remy said last week.

The forum was scheduled, he added, to focus on the educational reform package devised by the commission Mayor Michael Coleman and City Council President Andrew Ginther formed in December 2012, and which would be implemented by funding being sought though passage of Issues 50 and 51 on Nov. 5.

The 9.01-mill, $76.6-million levy the board of education placed on the ballot represents a 24-percent hike in property taxes that would pay for upgrades to technology in classrooms, improve academic and business practices, increase early childhood education, create the position of an auditor external to the district and more.

Remy expects some pointed questions for Good, who was asked to take over as superintendent following the retirement of Gene Harris.

"I think there are some concerns with accountability and the amount of money that's being asked in this levy by residents," Remy said.

"They look at it as a big burden. I run across people who are supportive of schools and they want to be supportive of schools, but it's an awful lot to ask to raise their taxes to such a high level all at once."

Remy said he looks forward to similar collaborations with the North Linden Area Commission to create events to educate and inform residents.

"Any time you can combine efforts, it's helpful, and it can lead to greater attendance," he said. "Being that North Linden is kind of on the border with us, it just made sense to work together. It's a wonderful opportunity to meet the head of the schools."

The Columbus Dispatch endorsed Issues 50 and 51 in an Oct. 6 editorial, but the Columbus Council of PTAs declined to do so last week.

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