Posts by: Greg

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.

The information that Ross included in […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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, […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Ohio’s State Board of Education voted today to remove the requirement that districts employ education specialists in order to “give local districts flexibility” from “unfunded mandates”.

Instead of taking a stand for the value of nurses, counselors, social workers, library media specialists and the arts in education and pushing back against the Kasich administration’s funding cuts and increased testing mandates, the School Board voted to eliminate the “5 of 8″ rule from Ohio Administrative Code, setting the stage for the further decimation of these services in our schools.

It is appalling that the majority of the current members of Ohio’s […]

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On Monday and Tuesday of next week, the State School Board of Ohio will convene again to vote on the “5 of 8″ rule that requires school districts to hire specialists in arts, music and physical education, along with librarians, guidance counselors, social workers, and nurses.  The board members who favor the change have called these requirements “outdated”.

Eliminating this change will actually open the door for school districts to avoid hiring qualified individuals in these positions.  Instead of having specialized arts educators in grades K-8, local school boards, in an attempt to cope with the Kasich Administration’s […]

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Ohio’s House Education Committee Chair, Gerald Stebelton, had pushed for the minimum teacher salary schedule to be rendered moot when he quickly amended House Bill 343 recently.  While the committee rapidly passed that amended bill along partisan lines, support for the change apparently didn’t carry forward to the larger General Assembly.

In a flurry of events yesterday, Representative Andy Brenner backtracked on his support (after voting affirmatively as the Education Committee Vice Chair) for the bill and referred it from the full House to the House Rules and Reference Committee where the bill was “un”-amended and sent back to the […]

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