School tax headed for the ballot

The Columbus School Board voted unanimously July 21 to ask voters this fall for a 6.92-mill tax increase to pay for the district’s general growth. The 17-percent property tax increase (a 14-percent increase for commercial property owners) would be spent over five years to add 325 staff—including 76 intervention specialists, 41 positions for expanding pre-kindergarten programs, 34 instructional assistants, 25 social workers, 16 positions in career-technical education, and 16 school nurses. Meanwhile, $125 million would pay for backlogged maintenance items such as roof and parking lot repairs, with $4.4 million set aside for annual maintenance. The board will now spend time reviewing a community panel’s facilities report, including its recommendation to keep all of the CCS high schools open. The tax would cost a homeowner an additional $242.20 for every $100,000 of valuation.

Your chance to comment on English standards

The Ohio Department of Education has opened an online survey through 5 p.m. on Aug. 1 for interested groups and individuals who wish to review and comment on the draft revisions to Ohio’s Learning Standards in English language arts and mathematics. The revision of Ohio’s Learning Standards in science, social studies and financial literacy will begin in late fall 2016. Register for updates.

PA schools to support neighborhood needs

Philly.com reported that Philadelphia city officials on Monday announced “nine schools that have been selected to receive extra money and support to create hubs for social, health, and other services in their neighborhoods as part of the new community schools initiative.” All nine schools were chosen “on the basis of poverty and risk factors in their neighborhoods”; five “are in police districts that had the highest number of shootings in 2014”; and four have more than 20 percent of their students learning to speak English. Mayor Jim Kenney “said the goal is to identify the specific needs of students, parents, and their communities, and then forge partnerships with private providers to offer the needed services in the schools.”