Parents and educators plead with state board to keep requiring school nurses, librarians, counselors and arts teachers

Parents and educators made pleas to the state school board this afternoon to continue requiring a minimum ratio of student support staff to students in all schools.

Arts teachers, special education parents, a Cleveland Heights principal and retired teachers all told the board they wanted the board to drop plans to kill the so-called "5 of 8" rule that requires a mix of librarians, counselors, nurses and arts teachers in schools.

The rule requires five staff from these positions - elementary art, music or physical education teachers, school counselors, library media specialists, school nurses, social workers and "visiting teachers" -- for every 1,000 students.

Two groups of parents planned a 4 p.m. rally outside the Ohio Department of Education headquarters where the board is still meeting. Included in their plans: Displaying "tombstones" for the positions in the "5 of 8" rule that will no longer be required if the board passes its proposal Tuesday.

And some people, including Cleveland City Council, have asked the board to delay any vote on this proposed rule change for 90 days to allow more public input. See council's full resolution below.