Repealing SB5 isn't partisan, it's personal

Yesterday, over 600 labor leaders packed the pipefitters union hall on Kinnear Road in Columbus to discuss the next phase of the repeal effort. What is becoming clearer and clearer with each passing moment is the shear scale of the opposition to SB5. It was a mid July day with temperatures soaring over 100 degrees, yet people had come together in their hundreds for a closed to the press event, whose nature might usually attract only 30.

It's not just the numbers that should cause supporters of SB5 to take stock, but the breadth of opposition. The gathering represented over 2 million members, from public and private sector unions. While much focus has been placed on the direct assault on teachers, police and fire, private sector allies have stepped up and into the fray too, to lend their considerable support.

Everyone recognizing SB5 for what it is, a direct and indirect assault on working men and women in Ohio.

As if to punctuate this huge gathering, it happened, by coincidence, on the same the day that Secretary of State John Husted certified that voters would guaranteed the opportunity to repeal SB5 in November on the back of a record breaking signature collection effort

Secretary of State Jon Husted certified a state-record 915,456 valid signatures collected by a coalition seeking to repeal the Republican-backed law that weakens collective bargaining for public employees. Only 231,147 were needed to place a referendum on the ballot.

On June 29, We Are Ohio, the coalition opposed to Senate Bill 5, delivered nearly 1.3 million signatures to Husted's office for validation -- smashing the previous state record. Those signatures were shipped to their respective county boards of election for initial validation, and Husted was responsible for final certification.

In addition to cruising past the threshold for total number of valid signatures, We Are Ohio also collected signatures equal to 3 percent of the total vote cast in last year's gubernatorial election in all 88 counties -- which campaign spokesman Melissa Fazekas said was also a first in Ohio history.

The effort isn't massive because it's partisan, we see that all the time, it's massive because for millions of workers from across the political spectrum, it is personal.

When It Comes To How We Use Evidence, Is Education Reform The New Welfare Reform?

Part of our ongoing effort to bring forth interesting articles covering a range of education realted topics.

There are several similarities between the bipartisan welfare reform movement of the 1990s and the general thrust of the education reform movement happening today. For example, there is the reliance on market-based mechanisms to “cure” longstanding problems, and the unusually strong liberal-conservative alliance of the proponents. Nevertheless, while calling education reform “the new welfare reform” might be a good soundbyte, it would also take the analogy way too far.

My intention here is not to draw a direct parallel between the two movements in terms of how they approach their respective problems (poverty/unemployment and student achievement), but rather in how we evaluate their success in doing so. In other words, I am concerned that the manner in which we assess the success or failure of education reform in our public debate will proceed using the same flawed and misguided methods that were used by many for welfare reform.

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The cost of Charters

One slide presented last night at the Dublin budget town hall really stood out.

Dublin City Schools Budget Presentation - May 11th, 2011


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state, but if a student in their district transfers to a charter school $5,732 is taken to pay for that. That's a disproportionate subtraction and one of the direct costs of so-called "Choice". In Dublin it's costing between $300,000 and $400,000 alone.

What's more baffling about this continued policy is that Dublin City Schools are rated Excellent with distinction and have one of the lowest percentages of expenditure on administration per pupil. There's simply no need for charter schools to suck money away from high performing districts like this, yet we allow it.

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