Education News for 05-17-2013

State Education News

  • Legislature could require Columbus school levy to support charters (Columbus Dispatch)
  • After a mayoral education commission recommended sharing Columbus schools’ property- tax dollars with charters, two lawmakers introduced a bill yesterday requiring that such a levy go before district voters…Read more...

  • Educators, legislators aren’t on same page on Ohio school reforms (Columbus Dispatch)
  • A survey of more than half of Ohio school superintendents revealed, with few exceptions, a wide gap between themselves and legislators…Read more...

  • Legislator’s plan would provide preschool vouchers for 22,000 (Columbus Dispatch)
  • A Senate Republican leader on education policy wants to create a $100 million voucher program over the next two years to allow thousands…Read more...

  • Brookfield schools unsure of fiscal future (Youngstown Vindicator)
  • The state auditor’s office said the district will face fiscal emergency even if a school levy is certified as passed…Read more...

Local Education News

  • BYOD program makes learning fun (Lorain Morning Journal)
  • Usually students are discouraged from bringing electronic devices into the classroom. The fifth grade classes at Ely Elementary School in Elyria, though, are encouraged to bring their iPhones, iPads…Read more...

  • Avon Lake schools put new student safety plan into motion (Lorain Morning Journal)
  • In light of recent school shootings, students and staff at Avon Lake schools have a new safety plan in place to ward off intruders and bullies…Read more...

  • Bedford Schools to lay off 14 to 17 teachers, educators (Toledo Blade)
  • The Bedford Public Schools will send layoff notices to 15 teachers and other educators for the next school year to help close a persistent operating deficit. The board of education authorized the potential pink slips…Read more...


  • Lack of a guarantee (Akron Beacon Journal)
  • Beginning next school year, with a few exceptions, Ohio third-graders who are unable to read at a level specified by the state will not be promoted to fourth grade…Read more...

  • Partners for change (Akron Beacon Journal)
  • The Cleveland school district is making itself a showcase of how to go about transforming a school system. Last week, the district and its teachers union unveiled a tentative…Read more...

Education News for 05-15-2013

State Education News

  • Legislators try to combat school-standards rumors (Columbus Dispatch)
  • Tom Gibbs has reluctantly watched conservative commentator Glenn Beck and is up to speed on the criticisms of the new Common Core…Read more...

  • Columbus school district’s staffs being interviewed a 2nd time (Columbus Dispatch)
  • State investigators started a second round of interviews with dozens of teachers at most of the Columbus school district’s high schools yesterday…Read more...

  • School board urged not to arm teachers (Newark Advocate)
  • Top state law enforcement officials urged members of Ohio’s state school board Tuesday not to support arming untrained teachers with guns in response to recent school shootings…Read more...

  • School board members hear ideas on school safety, but seem to be rejecting arming teachers (Ohio Public Radio)
  • School safety was the top topic for the state board of education, which hoped to learn about how to make buildings, staff and students more secure…Read more...

  • Brookfield in fiscal emergency (Warren Tribune Chronicle)
  • The Brookfield Local School District is in a state of fiscal emergency, according to a report released Tuesday by Auditor of State Dave Yost…Read more...

  • State Board Hears Ways To Boost School Safety (WBNS)
  • Ohio’s top law enforcers addressed members of the state school board as it considers how to best update its school safety polices…Read more...

Local Education News

  • Cleveland school board OKs new teachers contract (Cleveland Plain Dealer)
  • The Cleveland school board Tuesday night approved a groundbreaking contract with its teachers, while also picking a new home for district offices…Read more...

  • No one told teachers they would lose jobs (Columbus Dispatch)
  • Less than two weeks before the May 7 election, Groveport Madison schools announced $2 million in cuts if voters turned down…Read more...

  • Treasurer’s mistake cuts up to $1.5M off Jonathan Alder’s budget (Columbus Dispatch)
  • Officials in the Jonathan Alder school district in Madison County don’t know how much money they have to operate on next school year…Read more...

  • Lorain School Board hears high school update, approves busing contract (Lorain Morning Journal)
  • The new Lorain High School has stayed within budget during its design development phase and few changes have happened since the initial design…Read more...

  • Lorain City Schools reassessing its 'Success for All' reading program (Lorain Morning Journal)
  • Lorain City Schools is reevaluating its “Success For All” reading program and could switch to a new system by next year…Read more...

  • Some Youngstown school principals to be in new posts (Youngstown Vindicator)
  • Some positions are being reshuffled to align with the new city school building configuration…Read more...

Education News for 02-05-2013

State Education News

  • Ohio offers school funding details (Akron Beacon Journal)
  • COLUMBUS: Gov. John Kasich on Monday released the first details of his proposed budget for schools, and the picture remains as murky as it did last week when he unveiled some of his general ideas to school officials…Read more…

  • IN OUR SCHOOLS: Budget overhauls educational funding (Cincinnati Enquirer)
  • K-12 education is one of the biggest priorities in Gov. John Kasich’s $63 billion biennial budget. It’s the second-largest chunk, accounting for almost a quarter of spending. It’s one of only a few categories that saw an increase...Read more…

  • Local educators wait for funding details (Springfield News-Sun)
  • Local superintendents say they remain optimistic as new details of Gov. John Kasich’s education plan emerge but need their individual district’s funding projections — expected later this week — before making final determinations about the changes...Read more…

Local Education News

  • Pickaway County sheriff, schools mapping common response plan (Columbus Dispatch)
  • The Pickaway County sheriff’s office and the county’s school superintendents are developing a common playbook for responding to classroom emergencies...Read more…

  • Logan County school bus rolls; no one seriously hurt (Columbus Dispatch)
  • Some Logan County students had a scary moment when their school bus veered off an icy road and tipped onto its side yesterday afternoon, authorities say...Read more…

  • Galion City Schools tout safety for students on social media (Mansfield News Journal)
  • Police say there is no merit to a second accusation of inappropriate teacher-student relations at Galion schools — days after police arrested a high school teacher on sex charges...Read more…

  • City’s online school expects to grow (Springfield News-Sun)
  • In its first year, Springfield’s online school has about 50 full- and part-time students with hopes to double or triple that number...Read more…

  • Medina City Schools' Claggett Middle School lifts lockdown after bullet was found (Sun Newpapers)
  • A lockdown at Claggett Middle School in Medina was lifted early this afternoon, hours after first issued by district Superintendent Randy Stepp when a .22 caliber bullet was found in the hallway of the school...Read more…

  • Officials discuss school safety (Warren Tribune Chronicle)
  • BOARDMAN - How to prevent tragedies in schools was the topic of discussion Monday among state officials, law enforcement, teachers and school officials...Read more…

  • Officials lead school safety roundtable for area educators (Youngstown Vindicator)
  • Area educators try to identify potential problem students and rely on school resources and technology to make schools safe but acknowledge that nothing will prevent a school shooting tragedy from ever happening...Read more…

  • Chardon high shooting: Judge still not willing yet to move T.J. Lane's trial (Willoughby News Herald)
  • The decision on whether or not to change the location of the trial for accused Chardon High School shooter Thomas Lane III will still be made after an attempt to seat a jury, a judge has ruled...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.”

Right To Work Is A Lie — It's No Rights At Work

More on "Right to work" being a lie.

Supporters of so-called “right to work” laws argue that they advocate for a cause whose noble aim is to advance personal liberty and promote economic growth. They wield buzz words like “freedom” and “choice” for their messaging. They opine that too many workers needlessly suffer because corporate America cannot free itself from the shackles of greedy labor unions. A non-critical eye may see a movement that champions freedom and offers hope. However, if you look just beneath the surface of the “right to work” cause, you will see a campaign that is built on distortions and predicated on lies and whose unstated purpose would undermine workers’ safety, economic security and well-being. The true goal of right to work is to put more money into the pockets of corporate shareholders. The consequence of these purposes, whether intended or unintended, is a diminished middle class.

right to work is wrong

Right to work (RTW) does not provide a financial benefit to workers. It hurts them – financially and physically. A viable labor movement is the best way to advance the wellbeing of the middle class. Here’s what the empirical research shows in terms of worker compensation and workplace safety:

  • The average worker in a RTW state earns about $1,500 less per year than a person working in a non-RTW state.
  • Unions raise worker pay by roughly 20 percent.
  • In Ohio, teachers working in non-union charter schools receive annual salaries that are about $16,000 less than those paid to traditional public school teachers. The gap is even larger when compared to what for-profit charter schools pay their teachers.
  • The rate of employer-sponsored health insurance and pensions is lower in RTW states.
  • Worker fatalities in the construction industry are 34 percent higher in RTW states.

Economic development is not enhanced by RTW legislation. In fact, the enactment of RTW laws almost certainly hinders growth and prosperity:

  • Research finds no relationship between the presence of a RTW law and state unemployment rates, per capita income or job growth.
  • When asked what influences their plant-location decision process, RTW is not an important criterion for small manufacturers.
  • Low-wage workers result in lower tax revenues, putting infrastructure needs and education and other publicly funded services at risk.
  • Lower wages also mean less spending by consumers, which stunts economic expansion.
  • States with the lowest percentage of workers in unions have relatively weak middle classes.

In addition to fewer, lower paying, less safe jobs and an erosion of infrastructure and decreased levels of public services, RTW robs our country of its democratic principles. Research shows that a weakened labor movement results in lower voter turnout and less participation by ordinary citizens in the political process. Maybe that is exactly what the RTW folks want; a means of keeping the political cronies of the richest in power so their interests will be forever served. Right to work is a carrot for a select few at the top of the economic food chain and a stick for everyone else.

Education News for 07-25-2012

Statewide Stories of the Day

  • Educators hope to clarify Ohio Lottery profits for schools (News-Herald)
  • Record earnings for the Ohio Lottery have educators worried about public perception of that news. While it is required by law that all earnings from the Ohio Lottery be distributed to K-12 education, the Ohio Department of Education says the breakdown of where that money goes isn’t as simple. According to ODE, there are many possibilities for the extra revenue, and they all depend on state legislators. For instance, a spokesman for ODE said that although the extra money is guaranteed to be given to Ohio education. Read more...

  • 150 Ohio Schools Out Of Compliance With Safety Information (WBNS 10 CBS)
  • COLUMBUS - State law requires schools to turn in safety blueprints to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office. According to Attorney General Mike DeWine, more than 150 schools are out of compliance with the law. There are no penalties for schools that do not submit their safety information. DeWine said that prevention is on the top of his safety list. “Law enforcement does not have access to this information,” DeWine said. “Fire and rescue do not have access to this information.” Representatives from more than 250 Ohio schools and communities gathered. Read more...

  • Toledo schools join Columbus in attendance data trouble (Dispatch)
  • Toledo City Schools leaders were wrong to think that they were allowed to “scrub” attendance records to improve their state report-card numbers, a state spokesman said. “We do not allow school districts to manipulate that data to improve attendance rates or test scores,” Ohio Department of Education spokesman John Charlton said. “Districts may correct data that they entered incorrectly, but only under a specific set of rules and state laws.” Read more...

Local Issues

  • Court upholds Granville teacher license suspensions (Newark Advocate)
  • Licking County Common Pleas Judge David Branstool upheld a decision by the Ohio Department of Education to suspend the teaching licenses of two Granville teachers accused of falsifying state test scores. In a decision rendered Friday, Branstool affirmed the state board’s decision to suspend for one year the licenses of English language learner teachers Jane Pfautsch and Mary Ellen Locke, over irregularities involving state testing procedures in 2010. Read more...

  • Northeast Ohio schools might be insulated from falling residential property values (Plain Dealer)
  • CLEVELAND — Home values in the Cleveland school district have fallen more than 21 percent in the last few years. They're down 26 percent in the Euclid school district and 33.5 percent in Maple Heights, which had the largest fall in Cuyahoga County. Those drops will mean a tax bite for those districts, but not the budget disaster you might think. The falling values won't bring real tax relief for homeowners, either. The Cuyahoga County Fiscal Office on Tuesday released changes in the residential property values for all school districts in the county after its reappraisal. Read more...

  • Youngstown school board OKs 2 new contracts (Vindicator)
  • Youngstown - The school board approved two new contracts with two unions, both calling for no cost-of-living increases and an increased health-care contribution from employees. The board approved the three-year agreements at a regular meeting Tuesday with the five building-trade unions and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 1143. Both pacts run through Jan. 31, 2015. The contracts call for the employees to pay 10 percent of the health-care premium cost. Read more...

  • Marietta board discusses 3rd grade mandate (Marietta Times)
  • Questions and concerns about the state's recently passed third-grade reading guarantee were heard at the Marietta City Board of Education meeting Monday. Director of teaching and learning Jason Smith explained that portions of the guarantee - which requires children to meet a certain level of proficiency in reading or face repeating the third grade - will go into effect in the upcoming school year. However, it is unlikely any students would face retention at the end of the 2012-13 school year. Read more...

  • Middletown school’s pay more for BCESC services (Middletown Journal)
  • MIDDLETOWN — The Middletown City School District’s Board of Education entered into a contract Monday night worth more than $1 million with the Butler County Educational Service Center. The total contract is is approximately $140,000 higher than last year’s contract partly because it includes the salary of a new, shared business manager with Monroe. However, it will amount to a savings in the long run, according to Middletown superintendent Greg Rasmussen. Read more...

  • USV to pay former superintendent $39,000 (Lima News)
  • MCGUFFEY — The Upper Scioto Valley school board has come to an agreement with former Superintendent Rick Rolston, who the board fired in January. The board will pay Rolston $39,000. It is his per diem rate from Jan. 5, when the board voted to begin proceedings to terminate him, to April 25, when the board hired Dennis Recker to assume the position. Rolston, who came to the district in late 2008, demanded a hearing on the termination. A referee appointed by the state department of education recommended that Rolston’s contract not be terminated. Read more...

  • OAPSE union files grievance against Dawson-Bryant district (Ironton Tribune)
  • COAL GROVE — This year’s free summer lunch program was not a success for the Dawson-Bryant Local School District and the local Ohio Association of Local School Employees (OAPSE) union has filed a complaint with the district claiming the program displaced its workers, Superintendent Dennis DeCamp said at Monday’s board of education meeting. In past summers, DeCamp said, the school district offered summer meals to students in need, but the turnout was so low, thousands of dollars was lost on the project. Read more...