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District Reflects Upon School Levy Failure

COLUMBUS (Lu Ann Stoia/Kate Liebers) For the first time in 23 years, a Columbus City Schools levy has failed.

A vocal opposition to the levy told city leaders that taxpayers couldnt afford a 24-percent tax increase. Others against Issues 50 and 51 said they wont support a levy until the scandal surrounding the district is put to bed.

Lets clean the house up, said Dale Snyder of the anti-levy campaign. Lets get people out who have done data scrubbing, who have misrepresented the sacred trust.

Election Day fell six months after search warrants were served at 17 Columbus City Schools. The state auditor and FBI are still investigating data doctoring in the district. Superintendent Gene Harris retired amid the controversy and interim superintendent Dan Good acknowledges they need to regain the voters trust.

We have good policies in place now, new data managers with limited access to data, Good said. Were confident that will address those concerns and help restore the communitys confidence in our ability to manage the data appropriately.

Good said the district needs time to reflect and assess after 69 percent of the voters rejected the levy.

He has agreed to sit down with the leaders of the No Cheaters, No Charters campaign. The No campaign said the swearing in of new board members in 2014 are good first steps toward building trust.

While both sides of the issue agree they want to do the right thing for children, it is unclear what that means for the district and voters.

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