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New Study: reckless budget costing 29,000 K-12 jobs

Policy Matters Ohio have just released a report: Economic impact of education cuts in the Kasich budget proposal: An input­output analysis
The $2 billion in cuts to Ohio’s primary, secondary and higher education proposed in House Bill 153, the biennial budget bill for fiscal years 2012-13, may be expected to eliminate 47,291 jobs across the public and private sector as the economic impact sweeps through suppliers and local busines

ses. Policy Matters Ohio commissioned a study of the direct, indirect and induced impact of the cuts to education that are proposed in Ohio’s biennial budget for fiscal years 2012 and 2013. Public schools are labor intensive, so spending cuts go directly to payroll. The proposed cut of $1.821 billion to primary and secondary education (as compared to funding levels of 2011) will result in the loss of 29,133 direct jobs. As schools cut purchases from suppliers, another 1,835 jobs will be lost. As laid-off workers spend less on household purchases, 12,387 more jobs will vanish from grocery stores, day care centers and restaurants. In total, the economic impact of the proposed spending cuts to K-12 education will destroy 43,355 jobs. This is in addition to drastic quality reductions to one of the most critical services society provides for the next generation.

Economic impact of education cuts in the Kasich budget proposal: An input­output analysis

Does Class Size Really Matter?

If you’re a good teacher, the number of students in your class shouldn’t be a factor – at least according to a growing chorus of self-styled education reformers. In a recent speech to the National Governor’s Association, Bill Gates said the nation could improve education – even in an era of extreme budget cuts – by lifting caps on class sizes, by identifying a school’s top teachers, asking them to take on more students, and then paying them more to do so.

But more than 30 years of research shows that smaller class sizes are better – including a study that was funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

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Education Czar ok with expanding charter failure

Currently Ohio has almost 100,000 students attending 339 charter schools, costing tax payers about $720 million a year. The Governors new budget seeks to significantly privatize public education further.

With so much at stake, there's currently a lot of lobbying going on, and lot of that lobbying is around this issue
In Ohio, a charter school must have a contract with one of 77 approved sponsors (also known as authorizers) who are responsible for overseeing academics and finances. Many are school districts or county educational service centers that sponsor only one or two charter schools, but a few are nonprofit organizations that sponsor dozens.

As introduced, Kasich's budget pins more responsibility on sponsors by forbidding them from adding schools if any of their current schools are in academic watch or academic emergency, the state's two lowest rankings.
Seems reasonable that we would want authorizers to only be sponsoring quality school programs. But there's a hitch, and it's a big one
That disqualifies just about everyone who's a sponsor now because almost all have at least one low-performing school, said Terry Ryan, who heads the Ohio offices of the conservative-leaning Thomas B. Fordham Institute. Its sister foundation sponsors seven charter schools in Ohio, one of which is in academic emergency.
One would think these organizations would want to spend some time fixing their current failing schools, but no, that's not what is being lobbied for in Columbus
Ryan would like to see that changed to allow, say, 20 percent of a sponsor's schools to be low-ranked. But he's quick to add, "We do not want to return to the days when 50, 60, 70 schools were being opened by people who did not have a solid track record. We're still seeing the repercussions from that."
20 percent! That's an awful lot of students being left behind. What does the Governor's education Czar think?
Sommers is amenable to a change.
Well of course he is. This massive expansion of charter schools has nothing to do with improving education quality. It's about the bottom line.

The Intent to Leave: Impact of Eroding Teacher Salaries

After 1972, the level of teachers’ salaries declined not only relative to inflation but relative to salaries in other occupations requiring a bachelor’s degree. Even by 1987, starting teachers’ salaries lagged other salaries in various fields like computer sciences, math and physical sciences and business management.

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SB5 would set us back

Submitted by Bexley Superintendent, Mike Johnson

Public negotiations take two parties to carve out outcomes based on mutual interests to add value and ultimately benefit the community. These mutual interests provide opportunities to serve the common good. The common good principle is a concept that assures everyone will share in the benefit of a service, independent of the wealth and status of any individual community member.

These benefits, whether they are in the form of public education, safety, health, welfare or transportation, are always provided by loyal and dedicated community servants. Community servants allow each of us to have access to a world-class education; provide peace of mind in knowing that our properties are safe and secure; and ensure that the basic needs of the poor, the disabled, the unemployment and the underemployed are met.

Public servants have one negotiation chip, their service. They do not have capital, land or money to bring to the table. They only have their willingness to labor and to serve the public and thereby benefit everyone. The only power that a public servant or public employee can exercise in negotiations is the ability to ultimately withhold services.

In the case of the services provided by fire and police, withdrawal of services would threaten our property interest and personal safety. Therefore, third party arbitration provides for a balance of power during negotiations. Fire and police personnel are secure in knowing that if negotiations are at impasse that a neutral third party will hear the facts and render a decision, while public and private safety are maintained.

If the United States and the state of Ohio are to become leaders in a knowledge economy, then educators must be invited and remain at the table as equals. Educators are knowledge workers and if we are to overcome some very serious national and international challenges, then we will need our teachers to assist all of us in making decisions, designing the best possible research driven solutions and implementing those decisions over time. The full value of our knowledgeable and professional teaching staff will not be realized in an environment where they are on the receiving end of a power shift.

It strikes me as a case of very poor timing to suddenly develop laws to truncate the advantages, negotiations provides for those responsible for growing our economy. In Ohio, we will need to rely more on our intellectual capacities and assets and less on physical inputs or natural resources. I cannot think of a greater source intellectual capacity, than can be found within our K-16 public education community. As Powell and Snellman (2004) state, that an upsurge in knowledge production is associated with the emergence of new industries.

We need to make sure before making any final decision on SB5, that we will achieve the intended ends. Personally, I believe that we are going to experience some adverse unintended consequences as a result of passing such legislation. It is going to take some creative, collaborative, and systemic decision making to keep Ohio at the forefront nationally and internationally.

Rhee's partisan political agenda

The Examiner brings us news of Michele Rhee's invasion into Ohio, to peddle her variety of school reform snake oil.

We have discussed at length the problems with some of the kinds of reforms Rhee peddles. Whether it's value added assessments, teacher observations, and the inevitable playing of favorites in a subjective "performance review". None of these known problems appear to matter to some so called reformers, not least of which, Rhee.

Before ever sitting down with teachers in Ohio to understand some of the reforms already underway or being studied, Rhee instead sat down with the Governor to watch a discredited movie, one she features prominently in.

Now she is beginning, not a reform campaign seeking to bring in stakeholders - but instead launching a political campaign to lobby legislators.
Rhee has set up an Ohio Action Center online at StudentsFirst's website. "We're working to pass laws that will give Ohio's schools the power to identify, reward, and retain great educators, and give Ohio parents the choice they deserve to ensure their children receive a great education," she wrote.
[...]
in a message supporters are to send to friends, family, politicians and anyone else concerned about education in the Buckeye State.
Her website, www.studentsfirst.org, even takes on the appearance of a political campaign website, replete with prominent donation buttons and a big popup splash screen to harvest emails when you first enter the site.

Even the pledge page, again designed to harvest emails first and foremost, is nothing more than meaningless pablum anyone could agree with, rather than spelling out the true goals of her effort to undermine teachers and the teaching profession.
Rhee's brilliance as a reformer came under fire recently, when impressive teaching performance claims made during her three-years as a recruit for Teach For America in Baltimore, Maryland were shown to be exaggerated at best and false at worst.
Our emphasis. If Rhee was genuine in her goals she would be keen to sit down with educators and discuss ideas. Instead she is seeking to run what now appears to be a partisan political campaign.

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