A Teacher's Voice

Staffing decisions should prioritize connections and stability

In April, without any public discussion, the CH-UH Board of Education (BOE) decided to privatize the before- and after-school programs. The primary reason was economic.

Before- and after-school care is not seen as the school district’s main mission. One could make the case that as long as families have access to before- and after-school care for their children, the district should not have to shoulder the burden of organizing, supervising, staffing and recruiting for the programs at each of our elementary schools.

I believe that discussion with the public prior to the board taking action could have helped determine if there could have been a better solution or confirm that the proposal was best.

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Volume 10, Issue 6, Posted 1:38 PM, 05.31.2017

Opinion: Short-term benefit shouldn't outweigh potential harm of Ohio Senate Bill 85

Bad legislation is still bad, even if it might benefit our school district’s short-term bottom line.

Ohio Senate Bill 85 (SB85) was introduced in late March to expand our state’s already bloated voucher system. School vouchers damage the public interest by allocating tax dollars to support families whose children were already slated to go to private or parochial schools. Supposedly, these children are being saved from the so-called “failing” public schools, but most parents of these children never intended to make use of public schools anyway.

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Volume 10, Issue 5, Posted 11:40 AM, 05.02.2017

Teachers union draws on parent input in contract negotiations

Last school year the Cleveland Heights Teachers Union conducted a listening project with various parent groups throughout our community. Our purpose was to find out what parents like about their child’s school as well as what they believe needs to be changed. In March 2016, I reported out some of our findings in the Heights Observer.

In preparing for contract negotiations last spring, the concerns we heard from parents were fresh in our minds. The first union issue brought to the negotiating table was “How can we ensure the success of our partnerships with parents and the community?”

We advocated for a wrap-around services commission dedicated to coordinating supports that outside agencies offer in our schools. From our own knowledge and discussions with parents, we know that there are great things happening in all of our schools. However, sometimes a need exists that is not filled.

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Volume 10, Issue 4, Posted 7:11 PM, 03.30.2017