Top 3 Today

Your top 3 news stories today

  1. Big City Mayors don't like S.B.5
    But while many mayors at the start supported the governor's drive to revise binding arbitration rules, they now say Kasich went too far and that the wholesale changes in the collective bargaining law are unacceptable. All but one of the mayors of the state's five largest cities are now publicly blasting SB5 as an attack on middle class families.
  2. Bigger deficits for states without collective bargaining
    There is no evidence to suggest that collective bargaining is the cause of overall budget challenges," former Hamilton County Commissioner David Pepper told an Ohio House committee in March. "Many states without collective bargaining, such as Arizona, Nevada and North Carolina, have far larger budget deficits than many that do, including Ohio.
    How long would Governors Kasich, Walker and Christie survive in the classroom?

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Sommers sweats gifted student question

The reckless budget includes moving $60 million for gifted student services into a larger pot of state aid with no spending requirements. As budgets are slashed across the board the clear ramification of this will be the wholesale elimination of gifted student programs around the state, as districts use this money for general revenue and operating purposes.

This is proving to be politically difficult for the administration. One the one hand it wants to claim it cares about excellence in education, but the realities, with examples like this, are running contrary.

These difficulties can be seen and heard in this interview with the administration's education czar, Mr. Sommers

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Administration - cut ESP's first

Despite analysis and news reports to the contrary, the administrations education Czar continues to state that school districts can and should meet their massive budget shortfalls without local tax increases.
Mr. Sommers said the budget proposal is as much about trying to correct a faulty funding system as it is about a lack of money. "We're real clear: Don't raise taxes at the local level either. It's time to think about ways to be more efficient in our production of educational success."

A report from the political think tank Innovation Ohio said the cuts to schools would result in the layoff of 30,000 teachers and support staff. Mr. Sommers said the administration's message has been to not start cuts with teachers and principals.

"I think any school that starts by cutting teachers is short sighted," he said.

Schools should instead make reductions in non-instructional costs such as administration, food service, transportation, human resources, etc., he said.
Clearly as much as the focus has been on teachers, this reckless budget also impacts education support professionals too. Indeed, if you take Mr. Sommers at his own word, ESP's would be first on the chopping block.

On top of the errosion of these middle class jobs, a lot of parents are going to struggle to find ways to safely get their kids to and from school because they have inflexible work schedules.

The services ESP's provide to both parents and teachers, often unrecognized, will come into stark relief if no serious adjustments are made to this reckless budget.

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Next Season on Survivor

This came to us via our mail box and we thought we would share.

Have you heard about the next planned "Survivor” show?

Governor John Kasich (OH), Governor Walker (Wis) and Governor Christie (NJ) will be dropped in an elementary school classroom for 1 school year.

Each of them will be provided with a copy of his/her school district's curriculum, and a class of 20-25 students.

Each class will have a minimum of five learning-disabled children, three with A.D.H.D., one gifted child, and two who speak limited English. Three students will be labeled with severe behavior problems.

Each of them must complete lesson plans at least 3 days in advance, with annotations for curriculum objectives and modify, organize, or create their materials accordingly. They will be required to teach students, handle misconduct, implement technology, document attendance, write referrals, correct homework, make bulletin boards, compute grades, complete report cards, document benchmarks, communicate with parents, and arrange parent conferences. They must also stand in their doorway between class changes to monitor the hallways.

In addition, they will complete fire drills, tornado drills, and [Code Red] drills for shooting attacks each month.

They must attend workshops, faculty meetings, and attend curriculum development meetings. They must also tutor students who are behind and strive to get their 2 non-English speaking children proficient enough to take the SOLS tests. If they are sick or having a bad day they must not let it show.

Each day they must incorporate reading, writing, math, science, and social studies into the program. They must maintain discipline and provide an educationally stimulating environment to motivate students at all times. If all students do not wish to cooperate, work, or learn, the teacher will be held responsible.

These people will only have access to the public golf course on the weekends, but with their new salary, they will not be able to afford it. There will be no access to vendors who want to take them out to lunch, and lunch will be limited to thirty minutes, which is not counted as part of their work day.

They will be permitted to use a student restroom, as long as another survival candidate can supervise their class.

If the copier is operable, they may make copies of necessary materials before, or after, school. However, they cannot surpass their monthly limit of copies. They must also continually advance their education, at their expense, and on their own time.

The winner of this Season of Survivor will be allowed to return to their job.

Pass this to your friends who think teaching is easy, and to the ones that know it is hard.

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The Week in Review

This week in review is dominated by the We Are OHIO campaign kick-off. The Dispatch today
With chants of "We are Ohio," an estimated 11,000 union supporters rallied at the Statehouse yesterday to launch the effort to overturn the law that would weaken public workers' bargaining power.

The crowd was the largest since the debate over Senate Bill 5 began in February. Many also signed up to help collect the 231,000 signatures needed to get a referendum on the November ballot.
Coumbus firefighter John Capretta told the crowd that the issue isn't Democratic or Republican. "This matter is between the rich and the working-class people."

"We are the only ones standing in the rich's way to take over this country and run it like a dictatorship," he said.

Then his young daughter took the microphone: "Governor Kasich, quit messing with my daddy."

In other news we covered the devastating cuts to public education that are planned.

Be sure to also check out the pictures from the We Are Ohio rally

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