The final meeting (rescheduled after a prior “scheduling snafu”) to discuss a new school funding formula for Ohio was held to a packed room. Those who didn’t get there early enough had to stand or sit on the floor for the entirety of the 90 minute discussion. After Mattei-Smith finished her explanation of the new funding model’s principles, participants voiced their concerns. But keep in mind, the governor’s intended timeline to implement a new funding model for education in Ohio is unbelievably short.
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Whereas Strickland immediately unveiled his education reform principles and gave plenty of notice that he would be holding meetings for several months in order to gather citizen and education stakeholder input, the current governor is taking quite a different tack. Barbara Mattei-Smith, from the governor’s office, quickly arranged for meetings to be held over three weeks in July, giving teachers virtually no advanced notice. Citizens’ feedback was not invited and stakeholders were kept separate from one another.
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If we don’t get our financial house in order by August 2, the results will be catastrophic. Two competing Congressional plans exist; both will raise the debt ceiling and lower the national deficit, but they differ in how that will be achieved. Boehner’s unfair, unbalanced plan will shield millionaires and billionaires, and make our students the targets of massive budget cuts if we don’t protect them now. Contact your member of Congress and urge them to compromise on a balanced approach that protects the most vulnerable and requires those that can to pay their fair share. Continue reading →
How will the state will reconcile the budget bill’s wording and Race to the Top’s (RttT) requirements so that RttT funds are not sacrificed — particularly if SB 5 is not repealed? As it stands, OEA says the budget language in HB 153 is creating widespread confusion as to what is required to comply with RttT agreements and the new state law. Continue reading →
The summer of 2011 is our winter at Valley Forge. As the educator-activist division of the Grand Army of the Middle Class emerges from our summer encampment, we must be ready for the Battle of the Bill. We must be ready to discredit all of the pro-SB5 propaganda that will be shoved down Ohioans’ throats. Make no mistake—we will be involved in many skirmishes and battles before our long war is over. Continue reading →
Does your school district have a student briefcase policy? That is, something that governs whether or not students can bring briefcases to school, and what they can do with them. More than likely your answer to the question was no, because students don’t bring briefcases to school. A school board that created a briefcase policy […] Continue reading →
It was Sun Tzu in the sixth century B.C. who made famous the proverb, “If you do not know your enemies nor yourself, you will be imperiled in every single battle.” This is still good advice for union members as we work to overturn SB5 and other legislation here in Ohio. While the turn of […] Continue reading →
For Ohio schools, 2010 was a very good year. Education Week ranked Ohio’s education system 5th in the nation and the Education Commission of the States applauded Ohio’s efforts under Governor Strickland to reform its school system. But with “consolidation” on the mind of our governor and several republican legislators, all of that could change […] Continue reading →
The rhetoric is loud and clear. Somehow teacher and public workers unions are responsible for the Great Recession. Led by ranting governors from across the nation, the public actually believes such wise men in their high positions. Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney recently stated, “Average government workers are now making $30,000 a year more than […] Continue reading →
If you are reading this blog online, then you probably already believe in the power of technology and not only the possibilities, but also our obligation to bring technology into the classroom on a daily basis. Countless studies and articles support the benefits of integrating technology into classroom instruction; technology promotes interaction and cooperative learning […] Continue reading →