CHTU Update - Action - March 7, 2018

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Dear Colleagues,

We are very pleased that teachers in West Virginia went back to work after a 9 day strike with a 5% raise for all state employees.  Without collective bargaining rights in the state, collective action was the only way to make change.  Best of all, since schools were closed, no one lost any pay.
Closer to home, at the Board of Education meeting last night there were two significant resolutions passed.  We are very pleased that our Board members are being proactive around issues where we have common concerns.
First was a resolution concerning Guns and Violence Protection.  (link).  Among the specific demands of government officials:
1. Banning the sale of assault-style firearms. 
2. Raising the minimum age to purchase firearms to 21. 
3. Banning high capacity magazines and bump stocks. 
4. Requiring universal background checks that include relevant mental health information and previous interactions with the law. 
5. Ensuring a complete universal database of those banned from purchasing firearms. 
6. Closing the private sale and gun show loophole that waives the necessity of background checks. 
7. Providing funding – including funding for schools – for enhanced mental health services and substance abuse treatment so that all individuals, including children, have sufficient access to these services 
 
VP Rego read our support of student actions around the same topic during the pubic comment section of the meeting.
 
The second resolution our Board passed centered on opposition to Ohio House Bill 512, the bill that eliminate most power of the elected State Board of Education and consolidate power for education with other workplace development under a Governor appointee (link).
We are in complete agreement around this action.  In fact, please call your state representative today and let them know that we oppose HB 512. You can call directly (directory of Ohio House) or just call 1-800-282-0253 and ask to be connected to the office of your state rep or state senator.  Here are some bullet points from the Ohio Federation of Teachers or just tell them you oppose the provisions of HB 512:

•    I oppose HB 512 because it diminishes democracy by weakening the state board of education, a body that has 11 elected members and eight members appointed by the governor. It was an independent Ohio Department of Education and state board that finally went after ECOT after years of neglect by Ohio's legislative and executive branches.(If you wonder why this is happening it is as a direct result of the state board trying to hold ECOT accountable)

•    I oppose HB 512 because it provides no oversight for online schools such as ECOT. This plan would put education squarely in the hands of political donors. Two of the most prominent online school operators have contributed more than $6 million to politicians, and that has cost the state and local school districts $80 million.

•    HB 512 doesn’t stop the legislature from passing legislation that bypasses a governor’s intent or its oversight responsibility.

•    HB 512 limits the voices of the public, educators, professors and others by diminishing their access.

In Union,
Ari Klein
CHTU President