I know it has been a while but things have been pretty hectic! I continue to meet with my districts, attend events, and to “learn the ropes” of my new position! I have been posting relevant information on my Facebook page at Pat Bruns for State Board of Education. On the outside change that you have not been following the news about education in Ohio, below is a good link that will get you up to speed…the July State Board meeting has proven to be a game-changer.
The link below is a good overview of what we are up against! FYI: all the major editorial boards in Ohio have supported our call for an external investigation and recently the Wall Street Journal also weighed in that and external investigation is warranted.
It’s saddens me that there is possibly a culture of mistrust and inaccurate data reporting at the Ohio Department of Education. It is never a good thing when low-level staff are put in the middle. I believe an external investigation would provide employees, under oath, to be able to speak freely.
There is evidently a history of ODE miscalculations that has awarded charter schools more public funds then they would have been entitled to that go back to a settlement of $6 million that CPS received.
Currently pending before the Ohio Supreme Court is a case that the Dayton, Toledo, and Cleveland Public schools have brought that would award them over $10 million collectively. Again, this is the result of funds being diverted to charter schools beginning in 2005. In the case of Dayton public schools alone that require them to turn over $5 million during a school year and resulted in the layoff of over 300 teachers and staff that year. These are setbacks in a school system that take years sometimes to recover from. In the meantime, children’s academic success and the reputation of the district can be at stake.
On another note, the Ohio Department of Education and the Youngstown City School District has filed a lawsuit against the State of Ohio as a result of the implementation of House Bill 70. Specifically, the amendment that was added in the 11th hour with only one hearing, completely overhauls the governing structure of that school system. A CEO is appointed and the current superintendent and the elected Board of Education are stripped of their responsibilities and powers. I could send you the analysis of the resolution if you’d like to see it. The original House Bill 70 was cosponsored by Denise Driehaus and had broad bipartisan support. It provided the necessary structure for other school districts to implement the community Learning center model that CPS is using in 42 of their 54 schools at this point…. and that is a good thing!
The Ohio School Board Association distributed a template resolution that many local school districts have adopted in opposition to House Bill 70 as well.
Please continue to spread the word about what’s going on and encourage folks to contact Senator Peggy Lehner, Chair of the Education Committee. I’ll be sending more information about Substitute HB2, which is still pending and would make very good strides in providing more accountability and transparency of charter schools sponsors.
I hope this finds you all enjoying an Artful Day!
“Great things do not just happen by impulse but as a succession of small things linked together.” Vincent Van Gogh
2015 State Board of Education Member
District 4 (Hamilton & Warren Counties; part of Middletown)
on FB at Pat Bruns for State Board of Education
On Twitter @VotePatBruns
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“If the 99% voted, the 1% wouldn’t matter!”