Member Update - January 30, 2009

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State of The State. Governor Strickland’s “State of the State” address laid out bold proposals both in school funding and in reform initiatives that, if enacted, will have profound effects on students, teachers, school districts, and taxpayers. Among these include a funding mechanism that places more responsibility for adequacy and equity on the state, and allows for inflationary growth in local property tax. The Governor’s education proposal also includes extending the school year by twenty days phased in over a ten year period, and an extensive teacher quality initiative that affects new hires (4 year residency) and experienced teachers (less job protection). 
 
The Governor’s education plan will be on the forefront of our agenda within the OFT leadership and will require your voice as we take positions on his proposals. Our OFT leadership has open access to the Governor’s Office and we will make our views known. 
 
We have posted the portion of Governor Strickland’s address that describes his education proposals on our website (click her for a pdf file of the education excerpts) and click on “Governor Strickland on Education”). We will provide additional updates on the details. We will want to hear your views on the Governor’s plan at our upcoming Union Comes To You lunch meetings.
 
Beyond Tinkering. The Ohio Grantmakers Forum recently issued a report entitled “Beyond Tinkering” which lays out the groups recommendations to the Governor and the State Board of Education on Education in a Global Economy and Educator Quality. The report encompasses topics such as assessments, content standards, 21st century skills, access to student data, teacher evaluation, restructuring the school day and school year, and teacher quality and compensation.
 
As much as we appreciate the assistance of foundations in providing the resources for innovation and useful reforms, we are not always in agreement with their ideas when it comes to setting education policy. We will be publishing the details and soliciting your views on some of the more contentious recommendations including changes in tenure requirements, and ideas on alternative compensation systems for teachers.    
 
FAQ’s –STRS.    We encourage you to visit our Local 795 website at www.chtu.org. We have added a new FAQ feature on retirement procedures and our State Teachers Retirement System. We’ve answered questions about the retirement incentive in our contract, as well as procedural questions. In addition, there is information on purchasing service credit, health care benefits, and account withdrawal (for members who move out of state or decide to leave teaching).     
 
Fraternally,
 
Tom Schmida, President