The full text of Ohio’s latest proposed budget bill (House Bill 64) was posted last week and, as in years past, it includes much more than just financial recommendations. There are numerous education-related “reforms”, some of which have promise, others that will place additional expenses on the backs of local school districts, and some that will continue to just continue the chaotic environment of change that teachers and administrators have been dealing with under the Kasich regime.Full Story... →
Much of the media coverage around John Kasich’s latest budget proposal and “new” school funding model has focused on the mysterious calculations that are supposedly determining how some school districts will receive more state funding and some schools will receive less. While this debate is certainly interesting, it ignores the larger, and more important conversation that should be occurring.
Kasich’s latest proposal makes some grand and fatally-flawed assumptions about the amount of state funding that should be allocated to the Department of Education as a whole. Furthermore, Kasich’s bold statement that local districts that “can help themselves…need…to step up and […]Full Story... →
Ohio Representative Andrew Brenner has been seeking co-sponsors to introduce a resolution declaring the last week in January as “National School Choice Week”. This is an interesting move for Brenner who represents a constituency that includes the Olentangy Local School District, the 7th largest and one of the highest-performing public school districts in the entire state of Ohio.
Olentangy, Brenner’s primary school district, lost over 32% of its state funding to community schools and scholarships when fewer than 1% of the district’s resident population opted to take advantage of “School Choice”. Which begs the question — Who is Brenner […]Full Story... →
Ohio’s Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Richard Ross, published his Testing Report and Recommendations last week as directed by the Ohio General Assembly as part of House Bill 487. The report contains information about the amount of time students in Ohio are spending on tests and subsequently makes recommendations about how Kasich and the legislature can make changes. Given that Ross was Kasich’s choice for state superintendent, we won’t be surprised to see some of the recommendations included in the governor’s budget bill when it comes out in the next month or two.Full Story... →
Perrysburg, Ohio, is a growing suburb of Toledo in the northeast part of the state on the southern edge of the Maumee River. The city has been growing steadily in recent years and currently has a population of over 21,000. The city’s income took a hit in 2009 when the recession hit, but has rebounded steadily and now boasts annual tax revenue in excess of the pre-2009 figures, allowing the city to increase its annual budget every year since.
This past year, the mayor and city council, with the blessing of the city’s fire chief, decided to make permanent cuts to […]Full Story... →
Say what you want (and we have) about past Ohio School Board President Debe Terhar, but at least she was elected by the people of Ohio (or at least her GOP-heavy district). This year, when Terhar opted not to run, that same district elected retired art teacher, Pat Bruns.
Next week, when the State Board meets for the first time this year, they will be voting on a new President and Vice President to serve Ohioans. With 11 members on the Board elected by the people, it would seem logical that one of them would be selected to lead the […]Full Story... →
In the past couple of years, we’ve seen Ohio’s legislators take an ever greater interest in holding the large urban school districts “more accountable” to taxpayers. Laws passed under the Kasich Administration have created “The Cleveland Plan” and “The Columbus Plan” in recent years because those holding seats in Ohio’s Statehouse believe the districts are under-performing and needed new laws to ensure that Ohio’s tax dollars are being spent appropriately.
Now, as 2015 has dawned, we have to wonder if Ohio’s sort-of-new General Assembly will finally take an interest in holding charter schools accountable, most notably the state’s largest charter and online school, […]Full Story... →
Governor John Kasich reappointed four members of the State Board of Education yesterday, all of whom voted to eliminate the “5 of 8″ rule from Ohio Administrative Code. The “5 of 8″ rule, which requires school districts to hire minimum numbers of nurses, librarians, social workers, guidance counselors, arts and physical education teachers, received significant attention statewide over the past few months as the State Board voted 14-5 to eliminate the existing language despite wide public opposition.
The December vote, which was 14-5 in favor of eliminating the requirement, will be coming up for a […]Full Story... →
The Ohio Attorney General’s Office announced yesterday that they are seeking to be the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit against an investment “trust” based out of New York City who misled investors and overstated earnings, resulting in a loss of over $7.5 million to Ohio’s public retirement funds.
American Realty Capital Properties, Inc., (ARCP) is alleged to have understated losses at the end of June. When the accounting fraud was revealed in October, their stock suffered losses of over $3 billion dollars, causing the massive hit to OPERS and STRS. These retirement funds are essentially the property of Ohio public […]Full Story... →
When school resumes on January 5 for Dayton Public Schools (DPS), an out-of-state company will be in charge of placing substitute teachers (called “reserve teachers” in Dayton) in classrooms. For Wisconsin-based Parallel Employment Group, the one million dollar contract they scored in Dayton is their first foray into Ohio and, sadly, does not appear to be their last.
This situation didn’t happen overnight, and it appears as though the strategy that Dayton is using to privatize services at the expense of union employees is self-created. For years, the DPS administration has been under-hiring reserve teachers, keeping the pool of teachers too […]Full Story... →
With a November 20 payment of $165,192.47 from the Reynoldsburg School Board to infamous strike attorneys, Pepple & Waggoner, the final (direct) costs of the the 15-day work stoppage in the district now exceed $1.5 million, most of which went to Michigan-based strike management company, Huffmaster Crisis Response, Inc.
The sum of payments directly to Huffmaster (also dba Alternative Workforce, Inc.) amounts to $1.35 million:
The reality is that the cost would have been even higher had Huffmaster been able to fully meet the number of substitute teachers required/requested by the school district, but many schools […]Full Story... →