Education News for 05-06-2013

State Education News

  • Transportation costs squeezing school districts (Akron Beacon Journal)
  • Mogadore, Cuyahoga Falls, Akron and Barberton schools have more in common than interconnecting county highways…Read more...

  • Auditor’s focus in records seizure was mostly grade changes (Columbus Dispatch)
  • State Auditor Dave Yost seized records of grade and attendance changes for more than 870 students for his data-tampering…Read more...

  • Ohio's education standards debated (Columbus Dispatch)
  • New math and English standards known as the Common Core are already in Ohio classrooms, even as opposition mounts from groups that include those affiliated…Read more...

  • School funding plan improving (Findlay Courier)
  • Legislators don't often change their minds on important policy issues, but state Rep. Robert Sprague said he did when he learned the details of Gov. John Kasich's school funding plan…Read more...

  • Early start, better finish? (Newark Advocate)
  • As a single mother working full-time, Jessica Dyer doesn’t have much time to work with her 2-year-old daughter, Annabelle…Read more...

  • Health department, school monitor MRSA (Springfield News-Sun)
  • The Ohio Department of Health and the Clark County Combined Health District are working with Springfield school officials to address recent cases of the staph infection…Read more...

Local Education News

  • Transportation disparities put many students walking to school on dangerous path (Akron Beacon Journal)
  • Anise Moore had mixed feelings about safety in the rough neighborhood where her kids walk to school…Read more...

  • School levies asking for new money on rise (Akron Beacon Journal)
  • All but two of the 15 school districts in the five-county Akron-Canton area with an issue on the May 7 ballot are proposing tax hikes for homeowners — a request that’s increasingly frequent…Read more...

  • Gay Catholic-school teacher’s firing raises questions (Columbus Dispatch)
  • The firing of a gay Catholic-school teacher by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Columbus raises competing constitutional questions about religious freedoms and civil liberties…Read more...

  • BYOD lets NHS students to bring their own technology to school (Newark Advocate)
  • For the past few years, Brian Stepanic had a sign in his classroom instructing students not to use wireless devices such as cellphones and tablets during school…Read more...

  • State calls East Portsmouth Elementary a “School of Honor” (Portsmouth Daily Times)
  • The Portsmouth City School Board rewarded faculty and staff of East Portsmouth Elementary School with a special luncheon…Read more...

  • Campbell schools receives grant from state (Youngstown Vindicator)
  • The Ohio Department of Education has awarded the Campbell school district almost $120,000 for a 2013-14 elementary school reading program…Read more...


  • Cleveland schools leaders lay out broad transformation ideas (Cleveland Plain Dealer)
  • It's taken a while to get here, but there's a lot to like in the first draft of the Cleveland Plan for Transforming Schools, which aims to turn around 13 failing schools…Read more...

  • Is minimum OK with Elida voters? (Lima News)
  • Administrators at Elida Local Schools are running out of tricks when it comes to offering a quality educational experience on minimal funding…Read more...

Now is the time to do something about gun violence

In the wake of the Sandy Hook school shootings, the President has released his plan to improve gun safety and hopefully prevent future massacres and gun related deaths.

His full plan can be read here.

Here's a list of his major principles:

  • Require criminal background checks for all gun sales.
  • Take four executive actions to ensure information on dangerous individuals is available to the background check system.
  • Reinstate and strengthen the assault weapons ban.
  • Restore the 10-round limit on ammunition magazines.
  • Protect police by finishing the job of getting rid of armor-piercing bullets.
  • Give law enforcement additional tools to prevent and prosecute gun crime.
  • End the freeze on gun violence research.
  • Make our schools safer with more school resource officers and school counselors, safer climates, and better emergency response plans.
  • Help ensure that young people get the mental health treatment they need.
  • Ensure health insurance plans cover mental health benefits.

On top of these principles the President also issued 23 executive orders:

1. Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal agencies to make relevant data available to the federal background check system.

2. Address unnecessary legal barriers, particularly relating to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, that may prevent states from making information available to the background check system.

3. Improve incentives for states to share information with the background check system.

4. Direct the Attorney General to review categories of individuals prohibited from having a gun to make sure dangerous people are not slipping through the cracks.

5. Propose rulemaking to give law enforcement the ability to run a full background check on an individual before returning a seized gun.

6. Publish a letter from ATF to federally licensed gun dealers providing guidance on how to run background checks for private sellers.

7. Launch a national safe and responsible gun ownership campaign.

8. Review safety standards for gun locks and gun safes (Consumer Product Safety Commission).

9. Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal law enforcement to trace guns recovered in criminal investigations.

10. Release a DOJ report analyzing information on lost and stolen guns and make it widely available to law enforcement.

11. Nominate an ATF director.

12. Provide law enforcement, first responders, and school officials with proper training for active shooter situations.

13. Maximize enforcement efforts to prevent gun violence and prosecute gun crime.

14. Issue a Presidential Memorandum directing the Centers for Disease Control to research the causes and prevention of gun violence.

15. Direct the Attorney General to issue a report on the availability and most effective use of new gun safety technologies and challenge the private sector to develop innovative technologies.

16. Clarify that the Affordable Care Act does not prohibit doctors asking their patients about guns in their homes.

17. Release a letter to health care providers clarifying that no federal law prohibits them from reporting threats of violence to law enforcement authorities.

18. Provide incentives for schools to hire school resource officers.

19. Develop model emergency response plans for schools, houses of worship and institutions of higher education.

20. Release a letter to state health officials clarifying the scope of mental health services that Medicaid plans must cover.

21. Finalize regulations clarifying essential health benefits and parity requirements within ACA exchanges.

22. Commit to finalizing mental health parity regulations.

23. Launch a national dialogue led by Secretaries Sebelius and Duncan on mental health.

The NEA has issued a strong endrosement of this plan

NEA President Dennis Van Roekel issued the following statement:

“The senseless tragedy in Newtown was a tipping point and galvanization for action. As educators, we have grieved too long and too often—for the children killed, their families and the heroic educators who gave their lives trying to protect their students. Now more than ever we need to do what is necessary to make sure every child in our nation’s public schools has a safe and secure learning environment.

“We commend President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden for moving swiftly and presenting concrete, bold steps to keep children safe and begin addressing gun violence in America. We believe the common-sense recommendations put forth by President Obama are an important first step toward keeping children safe, providing more support for students and educators, and keeping military-style weapons out of the hands of those who shouldn't have them. To solve the problem, we must have not only meaningful action on preventing gun violence but also bullying prevention and much greater access to mental health services, so that educators and families can identify problems and intervene before it’s too late.

In a letter to Vice President Biden, the NEA outlined its proposal that, while including sensible gun safety recommendations, focuses on truly preventive measures, including greater access to mental health services, plus the infrastructure, training and programs that will ensure safe learning environments for the nation’s children.

The presidential recommendations are in line with the views of NEA members. A new NEA member poll released yesterday indicates overwhelming support for stronger gun violence prevention laws, including background checks and bans on assault weapons and high-capacity magazine clips. The NEA members polled also overwhelmingly rejected the idea of arming educators.

“The idea of arming teachers as some had suggested was rightly and soundly rejected by the president’s task force. We especially welcome the president’s comprehensive approach by allowing school districts the option to design and implement appropriate measures to make schools safer and protect their students.

“With the clock ticking to prevent another Sandy Hook and Americans demanding swift action, the nation’s attention now is squarely on Congress. The time is now for Washington to put politics aside and work together to keep our children safe and reduce the incidence of gun violence in our communities.”

Education News for 11-06-2012

State Education News

  • Finding new head of schools a challenge (Columbus Dispatch)
  • For the third time in less than five years, Ohio has a job opening for state superintendent of public instruction. Attracting good candidates could be a challenge…Read more...

  • Health care costs rising by $700K in some districts (Hamilton Journal-News)
  • All Butler County schools enrolled in a countywide health care consortium are facing a 12 percent hike in insurance premiums…Read more...

  • Common questions voters have on schools (WKYC)
  • Every election, voters ask why there are school levies on the ballot when the Ohio Lottery and casinos help fund the schools?…Read more...

Local Education News

  • Somber Canton BOE names Allison to replace late Chris Smith (Canton Repository)
  • A somber Board of Education met Monday evening to grieve its loss of Superintendent Chris Smith and name a successor to continue Smith’s vision for the City Schools…Read more...

  • Rossford schools to consult voters on upgrades (Toledo Blade)
  • The Rossford schools could come to the voters next November with a levy request, but this would happen only after a community survey…Read more...

  • Boxing Legend Pushes CMSD Levy Passage (WJW)
  • Legendary boxing promoter and Cleveland native Don King was in the city Monday, going door to door and pressing the flesh, pushing for the passage of the controversial school levy…Read more...

Education News for 05-14-2012

Local Issues

  • Cincinnati success studied by Toledo (Toledo Blade)
  • As Toledo Public Schools finds itself in the midst of a political battle over who should run the federally funded Head Start program, it also finds itself in uncharted waters. For years, Head Start, a program for 3 to 5-year-olds from low-income families, has been run locally by the Economic Opportunity Planning Association of Greater Toledo. Read More…

  • What's behind Walnut Hills' No. 1 ranking? (Enquirer)
  • Walnut Hills High School and its graduates have won countless accolades and awards over the years. This week, the Evanston-based institution was ranked the top high school in Ohio by U.S. News & World Report magazine. It ranked No. 90 in the nation. What makes Walnut Hills distinctive? Read More…

  • Xenia Board of Education expected to OK outsourcing (Dayton Daily News)
  • The Xenia Board of Education is tonight expected to approve agreements that would permanently outsource its transportation, custodial and maintenance and information technology services departments. “None of us ever thought this would be happening,” said Vickie Jones, Xenia bus driver and president of the Xenia Education Support Professionals union. “We were always told there would be (jobs in) public education.” Read More…

  • Providence neighborhood center faces closing (Toledo Blade)
  • A South Toledo neighborhood center could have to close its doors in a matter of months, depriving an underserved community of essential services, its leaders fear. The Providence Center, formerly known as Aurora Gonzalez Community and Family Resource Center, faces the June 30 expiration of a two-year, $75,000 grant from United Way of Greater Toledo. Read More…

  • Lisbon school officials pleased with sophomore mini-laptop program (Salem News)
  • School officials like what they have seen so far of a program begun last November to place a mini-laptop computer in the hands of every sophomore. Technology Director Steve Stewart reported at this week's school board meeting the response has been nothing but positive to the program, although it is still a learning process for the staff and administrators. Read More…

  • Columbus schools may offer health care (Dispatch)
  • Columbus City Schools could open five school-based health clinics under a plan a consultant is to craft over the summer. The “wellness centers” would provide health services to students, district staff members and maybe the public, officials said. “The main focus is our students,” said Debbie Seastone, a school nurse who coordinates the district’s wellness initiative. “We know that healthy children make healthy learners.” Read More…

Editorial & Opinion

  • Faulty warranty (Dispatch)
  • In a dispute with fellow Republicans over how to approach important public-school reforms, Gov. John Kasich is taking the more difficult, but wiser course: Changes shouldn’t be put off or watered down, even if they’re painful. Tops on the governor’s list is the so-called third-grade reading guarantee: a policy to closely watch the reading ability of children in kindergarten through third grade, give extra help to those struggling and to no longer promote to fourth grade children who can’t read at the third-grade level. Read More…

Education By the Numbers


Public Employees saved $1billion for tax payers

A new report has looked at collective bargaining compromises in Ohio and found that public employees have saved their employers and taxpayers a substantial amount of money (over $1 billion).

Among the findings:

  • Public union workers have saved taxpayers $1,059,881,500 billion through collective bargaining concessions since 2008.
  • Teachers and support staff accepted wage freezes in more than 90 percent of collective bargaining agreements this year – concessions not tallied in this report because they are not yet available.
  • Last year, at least 65 percent of public employee contracts included at least 1 year of wage freezes, some furlough days, reduced compensation, rollovers or economic re-openers.
  • Some of the lowest-paid public employees – non-teaching personnel such as custodians – have gone up to eight years without a pay increase in exchange for stable health care costs.
  • A Warren police officer blames cuts in safety forces for the injuries he sustained while rescuing people from a burning building in which one person died.
  • More than two-thirds of all teachers’ contracts increased employee insurance premium contributions or significantly changed their health plans, with the savings often used to improve educational opportunities for students.
  • More than 93 percent of public workers already pay for their own pension contribution, with no pick-up from their employers.
  • On average, county and state employees pay more than 15 percent for their health care plans.

Public Employees Shared Sacrifice Report