June 19, 2019 – ACTION ALERT!
The State Senate seems determined to use the state budget to undercut local school districts, punish poor children, and weaken public education.
Instead of funding schools, some members are eager to run them. Instead of providing funds for wellness and wrap around services for the most vulnerable children, some members want to divert $50 million to pay for MORE vouchers.
These anti-public school policies were slipped into an amended version of the budget. Time to stop the amendments.
Call Governor DeWine(614-466-3555) or email (link)
and your senator,
Obhoff (614) 466-7505 or email (ink)
Dolan (614) 466-8056 or email (link)
Yuko (614) 466-4583 or email (link)
Sykes (614) 466-7041 or email (link)
and possible conference committee member Sean O’Brien (614) 466-7182 or email (link)
Ask them to
Keep the HB154 language in the budget.
Invest in wraparound services, not vouchers.
The time is now.
To learn more about the issue read Jan Resseger’s recent blog’s on the senate’s version of the state budget and its included state takeover language.
The Buzz – May 30, 2019
Caution! Bad Policy Brewing
Under the name of “Ohio School Transformation Plan,” Senator Peggy Lehner has cooked up a new version of an old bad idea – state takeover of failing school districts. The first hearing of the half-baked idea was held Wednesday, May 29. As Education Committee Chair, Lehner promised a full vetting – how is that possible with an incomplete plan and only a few days until the budget must be finalized.
By Monday, call your state senator (look up your senator link) and Senator Lehner (tel: 614.466.4538 contact form link).
Tell them to keep HB 154 wording in the budget – a constructive solution to the failed state takeover law.
Reject the ideas in this flawed alternative. It does not make sense to:
- Use test results to define failure.
- Offer a governance solution to a poverty-related problem.
- Takeover school districts if they don’t improve in two years.
- Mistrust local educators and depend on consultants to offer solutions.
- Invest in consultants not students.
- Create a bigger role for the state department of education.
This is no time to push through another punitive approach to improving school quality.
Although on this campaign we ask you to contact your state senator, you can contact any of your representatives using a free non-partisan website Resistbot (https://resist.bot/). Once registered you can send messages that are sent as emails, texts, faxes or letters on any topic you want, to whichever elected official you indicate.
May 22, 2019
We are all about the state budget right now:
CALL TO ACTION:
State Education Budget – Weigh In Now!
In the next few days the Ohio House will approve an education budget that will then go to the Senate. NOW is the time to weigh in with calls, emails, and letters.
If you’d like moral support, guaranteed follow through, refreshments, and fellowship, stop in next Tuesday, May 7 from 4:00 PM to 6:30 PM at the home of Robin Koslen to make your calls, and write letters. Robin lives at 1618 Wood Road. Don’t feel obligated to wait until Tuesday, get started right away and let us know what you did.
We need action right now!
After much fanfare and two years of work, Rep. Bob Cupp and Rep. John Patterson introduced a new and improved state aid formula to make the funding system constitutional! Their plan is not perfect, but with a few tweaks we believe it has promise. Ohio’s system of school funding has been unconstitutional for years – failing to provide for adequate and equitable funding, and forcing local school districts to continuously try to raise money locally. This fosters more inequality among districts. So does the funding vouchers and charter schools by deducting the cost from state aid to local school districts.
We need to thank Representatives Cupp and Patterson for their leadership, and urge them to keep the focus on their goals.
We need your help to push legislative leaders to pass a budget that invests more and is fair even if they abandon the Cupp-Patterson proposal.
Here are some talking points:
- It’s time to invest in children – the future.
- It’s time to make the school funding system fair. That means full funding of a formula that increases the investment of state funds in local school districts; distributes those funds fairly; and reduces reliance on local property taxes.
- It’s time to increase funding for high poverty school districts.
- It’s time to give local school districts relief from using their state aid to fund private school vouchers and charter schools. The deduction method increases funding inequality.
Here are other House members who need to hear from you:
Speaker of the House, Larry Householder
House Finance Committee Chair, Scott Oelslager
Link (HERE) to go our list of local representatives
Link (HERE) to go to the Ohio House Directory
STATE TAKEOVER NEWS
HB154 Passes the House (83-12) – Now what?
This legislation ends the state takeover of school districts. HB154 provides targeted school-improvement planning in individual school districts with low performance. It does not end the use of tests for high-stakes decisions but it encourages local problem solving. It will be taken up by the Senate soon. We need to lobby for the end of state takeovers. It has to stop. We will focus on this issue next week.
PLEASE USE YOUR VOICE. ADVOCATE NOW FOR PUBLIC EDUCATION!
State Takeover of Local School Districts
Ohio’s accountability system includes a devastating provision passed in 2015 as HB 70, that takes away responsibility for oversight of local school districts by locally elected boards of education when a district is graded as failing. The State Superintendent then appoints an academic distress commission that hires a new administrator who has near dictatorial powers.
- May 1, 2019 – HB 154 passed the Ohio House 83-12!!!!
What you can do:
- Let Governor DeWine and Superintendent DePaolo know you share their commitment to local control of public education and urge them to support legislation that helps districts accountable to their local elected boards of education.
- Share your opposition to test-based accountability.
- Let members of the House Elementary and Secondary education committee know that you oppose takeovers and labeling school districts as failures. Call for an investment in children not a power grab. (link here for a list with contacts)
- Advocate for your school district to pass a resolution condemning state takeovers. (link here for a sample)
Click here for talking points (link)
Please let us know what actions you have taken. email: firstname.lastname@example.org