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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The unofficial school levy campaign

In addition to the standard pro-Issue 10 yard signs, backers of the Cincinnati Public Schools tax levy are blanketing the city with 8,000 other yard signs, which conveniently don't mention the 7.89-mill property tax hike.

The red-and-white signs have large lettering that reads "I am Cincinnati Public Schools," with four adjectives in smaller text -- "proud," "prepared," "successful" and "empowered."

Under a 2002 out-of-court settlement reached with the Coalition Opposed to Additional Spending and Taxes, CPS can't use its own property for any political statement, including pro-levy signs.

But the "I am Cincinnati Public Schools" signs don't include an overtly political statement, and then are fair game to go anywhere on CPS' wide array of properties throughout the city.

The local chapter of Parents for Public Schools spent more than $5,000 to produce the signs, said chapter board president Pam Green. They're part of a year-long district campaign that uses similar phrasing, she said, and not intentionally meant to coincide with the levy campaign.

"This was discussed before we even knew the levy was going to be on the March ballot," Green said, adding that she hopes people will keep the signs up even after March 4.

But Green acknowledged the signs could help the levy effort, and she said she thinks more people would vote for the levy if they took heed of the sign's message -- that CPS is important to the entire city, not just families with current students.


at 12:51 PM, February 20, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

The campaign was not meant to coincide with.... the campaign?

Perhaps the CPS thinks that the people in its district will buy this line of disingenuous tripe because the CPs educated the people in its district.

Convenient. Very convenient.

And maybe just a little (or a lot) corrupt.

at 10:50 PM, February 20, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where's the corruption? The signs were ordered by Parents for Public Schools, a local chapter of the national organization for parents. It's not affiliated with the school district--no CPS money was spent on them.

PPS ordered signs connecting to the district calendar theme awhile back before anyone knew the levy would be on the ballot and were supposed to arrive a month ago.

Big conspiracy over a small thing, if you ask me. Typical Enquirer reaction: crying foul over anything positive about the school district while throwing as much "dirt" as it can find whether it's dirty or not.

Ask Ben Fischer about the fact that each school in his "breaking news" earlier this week will be occupied through 2010. Ask him about the plan he WAS informed about to turn every school that cannot be sold to an appropriate buyer into green space for the community. Somehow he forgot that part of the conversation.

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