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Cleveland Heights Teachers Union Files Strike Notice

CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, OH — Cleveland Heights Teachers Union (CHTU), which represents 500 teachers, counselors, nurses, and other school support professionals, filed a ten day notice to strike, beginning on December 2, 2020. The strike notice follows months of bargaining sessions with the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District and a membership vote in October, with an overwhelming majority in favor of striking if a fair contract was not reached. 
“We’re fighting for a fair contract because we know that the alternative -- lowering standards for teachers and staff -- will increase turnover and drive experienced, skilled educators out of our school district,” said CHTU President Karen Rego.

OFT President Cropper's Statement on SB 376, the Fair School Funding Plan Bill

"“Every student in Ohio deserves high quality, adequately-funded public schools in their communities. This is a guarantee in our state constitution that we have failed to meet for decades. We’ve even moved further in the wrong direction, with deductions for private school vouchers draining public school budgets in districts across Ohio."

RNC Convention Pushes Policies that Hurt Ohio Schools

Ohio Federation of Teachers President Melissa Cropper released the following statement: “This week’s Republican Convention has made it clear that Donald Trump, Betsy DeVos, and their supporters have one signature education policy: to privatize public education and ignore the needs of the 90% of Ohio students who opt to attend public schools."

Community Leaders Present Senator Portman with Improvement Plan for Silence on HEROES Act

COLUMBUS, OH — Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley and representatives from the NAACP Ohio Conference, Children’s Defense Fund Ohio, Ohio Federation of Teachers, Ohio Nurses Association, and AFSCME Council 8 held a press conference today to virtually present Senator Rob Portman with an “Individual Development Plan” to highlight issues of concern due to the Senator’s lack of support for the HEROES Act.

Governor’s Announcement on Schools Underscore Need for Emergency Federal Funding

Melissa Cropper, President of the Ohio Federation of Teachers released the following statement in response to the Governor’s announcement: "Our first priority is, and will continue to be, safety for our students, for our communities, and for our members and their families. We are concerned that local governments and school districts will have to make decisions about the Governor’s recommendations at a time when they are anticipating budget crunches and beginning to make spending cuts. Implementing many of these recommendations has a financial cost, but not implementing them may lead to greater rates of illness and death. Districts need to be free of financial concerns so they can make the best decisions for their students and communities."

Ohio Federation of Teachers Announces Endorsements for the Ohio General Assembly and Ohio Supreme Court

Today, the Ohio Federation of Teachers announced state level endorsements for the 2020 general election in Ohio, including 58 endorsements for the Ohio House, 13 endorsements for the Ohio Senate, and two endorsements for the Ohio Supreme Court. 
“The current General Assembly and Ohio Supreme Court has shown us what it looks like when state policy is made without sufficient input from teachers and supporters of public education and workers’ rights. We end up freezing funding for public schools, diverting more public funds to unaccountable private schools, and putting anti-government ideology ahead of pragmatic public health solutions,” said OFT President Melissa Cropper.

OFT President Cropper: Budget Cuts to Education, Healthcare will Harm Ohio’s COVID-19 Recovery

OFT President Melissa Cropper released the following statement in response to budget cuts announced today by the DeWine Administration: "We are still learning the full details of Governor DeWine’s budget cuts, particularly to what extent federal emergency funding will be able to replace some of these funds. However, we are concerned that out of $775 million in total cuts for Ohio’s budget over the next two months, $465 million is being cut from K-12 education and higher education, and $210 million is being cut from Medicaid."

Teachers, School Staff Ready to Complete School Year Through Distance Learning

OFT President Melissa Cropper released the following statement: "Distance learning, even when perfectly executed, is not a replacement for classroom instruction. However, this is the right call. It protects the health and safety not just for students, staff and teachers, but for everyone in Ohio. We must remain focused on flattening the curve and slowing the spread of COVID-19 in Ohio."

Senate Action on EdChoice Vouchers is a Freeze, Not a Fix

OFT President Melissa Cropper released the following statement:
“The Ohio Senate took action today to freeze building eligibility for EdChoice performance-based vouchers. Unfortunately, total voucher recipients will most likely increase, as new students entering kindergarten and high school in eligible buildings are still eligible for EdChoice vouchers, along with any siblings of current voucher recipients. 
This freeze on building eligibility is a temporary reprieve at best. It is certainly not a fix to the escalating problem we have in Ohio of diverting public funds to unaccountable private schools. School districts like Cleveland Heights-University Heights and other high poverty districts will continue to be disproportionately affected and will continue to suffer budget shortfalls."