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For the next four weeks, Cleveland voters will get a brief, low-key crash course in why they should approve Issue 4 to finish the job of upgrading Cleveland’s public schools.

Lately, most of the attention’s been focused on implementing the school transformation plan to improve what happens in classrooms. Cleveland voters know they just approved a levy in 2012 to enable that plan.

Issue 4 will be sold as a brick and mortar component of the plan, making the case that better surroundings make for better students and more learning. It would enable the sale of $200 million in bonds. The money would go to build 22 new schools and refurbish. It would also include $2.5 million a year for maintenance.

It’s not a tax hike and would cost the owner of a $50,000 a year the same $44 dollars they are paying under the previous bond issue. That monthly amount could increase if schools decide to pay back bonds early, but would be less money in the long run. The state will provide matching dollars, $2 for every eligible local $1.

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