Saturday, October 12, 2002

Governor Taft campaigning for school construction levies

By John Seewer
The Associated Press

TOLEDO - Gov. Bob Taft has taken the unusual step of campaigning for school construction projects in Ohio's big cities.

He has thrown his support behind ballot issues in Dayton, Columbus and Toledo during visits to those cities.

Gov. Taft
Governors tend to stay out of local ballot issues, preferring to leave such decisions to the communities. But in this case Mr. Taft and the state have a direct link with how much money the cities will receive for school construction.

The Republican governor has proposed spending $23 billion in state and local money through 2012 to upgrade Ohio's schools. Much of that is coming from the state.

The state is offering to spend $614 million to rebuild Toledo's schools if voters in the city on Nov. 5 approve a bond issue that would raise an additional $184 million.

Mr. Taft last week was in Dayton to promote a school bond issue, and on Wednesday he endorsed a Columbus proposal. The state has pledged to contribute $129 million of a $521 million project to rebuild 31 Columbus schools and renovate seven others.

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- Governor Taft campaigning for school construction levies
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