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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."

OFT President Cropper: Now is Not the Time to Divert Public Funds to Private Schools

OFT President Melissa Cropper released the following statement:
“It is imperative that Governor DeWine and the Legislature act now to prevent a massive expansion to Ohio’s EdChoice vouchers. 
With the Governor calling for a freeze on spending and asking state departments to cut their budgets up to 20 percent, and with the uncertain fate of school district emergency levies that were on the primary ballot, now is not the time to commit to sending more public funds to unaccountable private schools.”

Future of Ohio Public Schools in Doubt During Public Schools Week

This week, February 24-28, is Public Schools Week, a national celebration of and recommitment to the public schools that serve nine out of ten children in Ohio and the U.S. In Ohio, Public Schools Week comes amid a time of uncertainty and apprehension for public school districts across Ohio due to the looming vouchers expansion deadline on April 1. Without decisive action from the legislation, public school districts across the state will suffer huge budget shortfalls from unfunded voucher deductions for students who had never enrolled or intended to enroll in their district.