News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Hennes Paynter Communications

Meaden & Moore

Area Agency on Aging 10B, Inc.


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Education


Cleveland mayor’s school reform plan gets bipartisan support
Critics say proposal is SB5 all over again
by WKSU's STATEHOUSE BUREAU CHIEF KAREN KASLER


Reporter
Karen Kasler
 
Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson was in Columbus Wednesday to talk about his plan to overhaul Cleveland schools
Courtesy of Karen Kasler
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:
The controversial plan to overhaul the Cleveland schools that includes making big changes among teachers got a show of bipartisan support Wednesday. But as Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler reports, the plan’s critics said it’s a repackaging of ideas that voters soundly rejected months ago.
Karen Kasler's full report on Mayor Jackson's plan

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (3:49)


Abbreviated version of Karen Kasler's report on Cleveland school plan

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (1:11)


Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson said his plan to reshape the Cleveland schools is not about politics. It’s about quality education. 

“It has nothing to do with whether or not you’re a good Democrat or a good Republican, whether you support unions or you don’t support unions, whether you support charters or public schools. This is about how do we educate our children.”

Jackson said the district has been making progress, but it’s too slow, and the schools will soon need to plug a $65 million hole. His plan includes some ideas that some see as radical. It would allow the sharing of levy money with charter schools that are sponsored by or work closely with the district. It would create a governing body that would set and monitor standards which would be exempt from sunshine laws requiring open records and open meetings. And it would make big changes in contracts with teachers unions. The district could extend the school day or the school year without getting union approval. No tenure would be offered for new teachers, and contracts will be limited to two years.

Seniority would no longer be the key factor in deciding layoffs or callbacks. And if a teacher gets the district’s lowest rating of “ineffective” two years in a row, that teacher could be fired. The plan has the strong support of Gov. John Kasich and other Republicans. But some of those ideas bother Rep. Sandra Williams, a Democrat of Cleveland, who offered qualified support for the plan, but she said that she hasn’t agreed to co-sponsor the plan in the House. 

”I believe that the mayor’s plan has merit. I agree with about 70 percent of it. There are only a few things that I do not agree with.”

But one of the state’s two teachers unions has many things that it finds problematic in the mayor’s plan, and is very worried that if it’s approved, other school districts will want the same changes. Melissa Cropper, president of the Ohio Federation of Teachers, said that will destroy collective bargaining rights of teachers around the state. 

“I find it very ironic that they stand up there and say how important it is to involve the teachers voice, but they don’t have a teacher standing up there with them. I think that makes a statement right there.”

Other critics of the plan, including House Minority Leader Armond Budish of Beachwood in suburban Cleveland, said it amounts to a partial retread of Senate Bill 5, the collective bargaining reform law that was soundly rejected by voters last fall. Jackson, who supported the repeal of Senate Bill 5, said those who are concerned about the plan including some of the ideas from it shouldn’t be. 

“I am opposed to anything that eliminates collective bargaining. But I’m also opposed to collective bargaining standing in the way of educating children.”

Cleveland Democratic Sen. Nina Turner was also an opponent of Senate Bill 5. But she supports Jackson’s plan. 

”To allow anybody to drag this debate totally about Senate Bill 5 is the wrong way to look at it. We should start with what is in the best interest of Cleveland’s kids, and then work from that. And absolutely – we definitely have to be fair to the teachers. So I understand their concerns, but that’s not the position that I’m starting at.”

Jackson said if someone has better ideas than the ones he’s come up with, he’d like to hear them. Cropper with the OFT said the Cleveland Teachers Union has a plan that improves student outcomes without taking away collective bargaining rights of teachers. 

“Let’s work this out. We don’t need legislation to make it happen – we just need to all be together at the same table to make it happen. If they want to go through with Senate Bill 5 language, then we’ll go through with Senate Bill 5-like efforts to stop it.” 

But Jackson said that he won’t accept any plan that involves incremental changes because the community won’t be willing to approve a levy request unless there is major change in the Cleveland schools.

Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook




Stories with Recent Comments

National Weather Service confirms three tornado touchdowns yesterday
I was driving back from a party and was caught in the middle of a large thunderstorm. The hail and lightning were a whole light closer than usual, is something ...

Another Indians season opens with Chief Wahoo under scrutiny
The picture you have for Robert rocha is not him. He has long hair. No idea who that guy is in that picture

Portman predicts McDonald's confirmation, but says it won't be easy
I sent the following note to Senator Blumenthal after reading commentary from yesterday's hearing: Senator, You certainly have the right to ask Mr. McDonald que...

Seven minutes changed everything, but what changed Ashford Thompson?
He shot the guy four times in the head. I have never been that drunk or mad, and I have been through it. Shoot a guy once is bad, maybe a mistake, shoot a guy f...

First cricket farm in the U.S. opens in Youngstown
I am interested in cricket flour to replace soy flour in a low carbohydrate diet. As soon as you have cricket flour available for the average person, please le...

New process starts digesting sludge in Wooster
Awesome! When do our sewage rates decrease accordingly?

Akron's Chapel Hill Mall in foreclosure
Not a surprise. Between the shoplifting, gangs and violence that goes on up there it is no wonder that no one feels safe to shop at Chapel Hill. They have sca...

Ohio launches investigation into at least one Concept charter school
I worked at Noble Academy Cleveland as admin assistant and enrolment coordinator for 6 years, I know this is so valid and true and can provide staff names and p...

Copyright © 2014 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University