Today, House Democratic Whip and State Rep. Tracy Maxwell Heard (D-Columbus) introduced House Bill 167 with her joint sponsor, House Republican Whip and State Rep. Cheryl L. Grossman (R-Grove City). The bill comes after months of deliberation by the Columbus Education Commission on how to best address the issue of improving education in the Columbus City School district.
“I have agreed to joint sponsor this bill with the Republican Whip because it is crucial that a representative with both feet firmly planted in the Columbus City School district be able to guide this delicate process,” said Rep. Heard. “The introduction of this bill is the beginning of the legislative process in response to the work of the commission and all interested parties. I trust that we can maintain the integrity of the good faith commitments of all by ensuring our process remains reflective of those agreed-to recommendations.”
House Bill 167 contains language to place two issues on the ballot at the next election. If approved, the first ballot issue would create the position of an independent auditor for the school district. The second ballot issue would levy additional millage for Columbus City Schools, and it would grant the school board the authority needed to determine which charter schools to share the revenues with, if any.
“I think it is important that we are giving the school board a final say on whether or not additional tax dollars would go to community schools,” Rep. Heard added. “While it is the feeling of some that these revenues should be shared, it is better left to voters to determine what the right approach may be in seeking better public education for Columbus residents. My hope is that House Bill 167 can preserve the spirit and the form of the recommendations that have been hard fought for.”