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Urban League Latest to Oppose TPS Levy

Leaders Cite Past Broken Promises to Minority Community

Count the Greater Toledo Urban League among the groups formally opposing Issue 3, an income tax levy being promoted by Toledo Public Schools leaders on the May 4th ballot.

GTUL's board decided to take a formal stance because it believes the levy, if passed, "will have a devastating impact on poor and working families, many of whom have little disposable income to bear an additional tax at this time." 

GTUL leaders also cited a lack of a strategic plan and past "broken promises" to gain support of previous levies-- namely a 20 percent minority inclusion goal on the Building for Success new school construction program. Even with recent improved efforts in that area, TPS only has managed to top 7 percent MBE participation in its contracts. The promise was made to the African-American and Latino communities to help ensure a bond issue was passed a few years ago.

"It is disingenuous at best and blatantly hypocritical at worst for Toledo Public Schools to ask the community to support a levy and trust their judgment when resources have been squandered and decisions made that will have a negative impact on success and progress in the future," said John Jones, Urban League president/CEO.

Jones also pointed out TPS has seen a 27 percent decline in the number of TPS students over the past decade, to around 26,000. At the same time, he stated revenues and expenditures per pupil "that have increased disproportionately" and have far exceeded inflation.

"This rough analysis supports our belief that this community has supported levies almost without question and in some instances blindly," he said. "More specificially, the precincts that comprise the central city, which is primarily minority, has staunchly supported each levy while receiving the majority of school cuts and the lowest amount of resources necessary to prepare students for college, work, and life."

The Urban League is stating its official position on the levy, but will not actively campaign against Issue 3.