Archives for

SB 5 / Issue 2

The REAL state of school funding in Ohio

Leatherman I am a resident of Medina County, a parent of two children who attend public schools, a veteran, a 7th grade history teacher, and I am the proud president of the Medina City Teachers Association. It is an honor to have this opportunity to speak before you today. I am here today on behalf of educators. I am here today to talk about the real state of school funding here in Ohio. In only four years, under Governor Kasich’s “careful planning,” ONE HALF OF ONE BILLION DOLLARS — that’s EIGHT zeros — have been taken from Ohio’s public schools. These cuts have drastically affected our children. Continue reading →

It’s time for the PEOPLE to be in charge, as our forefathers intended.

OEA-Walk-PDF-Color---OVF-1209-15A-1 They’ve stolen our voice, our vote, and our power. Every ten years, Ohio goes through a process known as “redistricting” in which the boundary lines for Statehouse and Congressional districts are redrawn. Instead of ensuring fair and balanced district lines, the politicians and lobbyists have rigged the system to make sure they have all the power to protect themselves and their friends. With uneven, unfair district lines, the voters never have a real choice. Continue reading →

Brushing Teeth and Gathering Signatures

gerrymandering-district-9 Every morning my wife and I fight with my 2-year-old daughter, Ellie, to get her to brush her teeth. I think about the struggles I have with brushing Ellie’s teeth, as I work to collect signatures for the Voters First petition drive, which seeks to create a bi-partisan committee of non-elected officials to redraw US Congressional Districts. Many Ohioans don’t understand the need for the Voters First Amendment any more than Ellie understands the need for good oral hygiene. Continue reading →

We deserve to be at the table, not on the menu

The governor’s yet-to-be-unveiled education overhaul plan actually doesn’t belong to the governor so much as it belongs to Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson. Sen. Peggy Lehner, R-Kettering acknowledged that Jackson’s plan contains many provisions that were “also in Senate Bill 5.” Jackson’s plan, says Lehner, “…takes the best of Senate Bill 5.” Rather than speak with the Cleveland Teachers Union about his transformation plan, Mayor Jackson held back-door conversations with city’s business community. Instead of putting teachers at the table, Jackson’s plan puts them on the menu. Continue reading →

SB 5 threatened our ability to make a difference in students’ lives

Eleven years ago I started teaching special education so that I could make a difference in the lives of the students who need it most—children with severe and multiple disabilities. I live and work in one of the state’s highest poverty per capita areas, and I wouldn’t change what I do for the world. I didn’t become a teacher to get rich; I became a teacher to serve. Continue reading →

Issue 2 would hurt the future of public education

Collective bargaining becomes collective begging if one of the parties involved has the legal power to decide the final outcome with no legal recourse for the other party. Senate Bill 5, which is now Issue 2 on the ballot, does not revisit collective bargaining—it destroys it. It is similar to going to a dentist and he pulls all the teeth because in his professional opinion a few were bad. Continue reading →

Issue 2 unfairly creates two sets of rules

For more than 30 years, I have been teaching students with disabilities in an urban school district. Teaching kindergarten, in a tough school—to students with disabilities—is a difficult job, but I love it. The growth I witness in my students with disabilities, including developmental delays, autism, and traumatic brain injury, are worth all my efforts […] Continue reading →
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