A resolution supporting the recommendations of the Columbus Education Commission passed a divided Columbus school board last night, after a lengthy debate that centered largely around whether ” support” was too strong a word.
Also, the board handed member Gary Baker the task of chairing a citizens’ panel that he will select to come up with a millage amount for a property tax issue, signaling that a levy likely will be on the November ballot.
Three of the seven school board members voted unsuccessfully to strike any mention that the board “supports the final report and recommendations” of the education commission, and to remove references that it appreciates the vision “demonstrated by Mayor Michael B. Coleman, City Council President Andrew Ginther, and the Columbus Education Commission.”
After that move failed, the board voted 6-1 to approve the resolution, which also joined Coleman in opposing a proposed state law that would allow the state to take over any school board that presided over a student-data scandal, which would include the Columbus board.
The commission recommended, among other things, sharing up to $50 million of local property taxes with certain high-performing charter schools through a newly, appointed panel; creating an independent auditor to investigate district operations, with the auditor appointed by Columbus city officials, a county judge and the school president; and a wide variety of teaching and technology changes.