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“Schoolhouse Burning” Book Author Says Threats To Public Education Threaten Democracy

Public education is the focus of the book "Schoolhouse Burning." [Lopolo/Shutterstock]
Public education is the focus of the book "Schoolhouse Burning." [Lopolo/Shutterstock]

The founding of this nation relied not only on a revolution but also the revolutionary idea of turning governance over to the people.  But, in order to do that, the founders believed that it was imperative that the citizenry be educated.  

Over the course of our history, this idea of a public education system has brought both support, and opposition.

Author and legal scholar, Derek Black, details the foundational roots of public education in his book "Schoolhouse Burning:  Public Education and the Assault on American Democracy.”

The book chronicles the impact of public education on our democracy and presents efforts to undercut public education as no less detrimental than efforts that threaten our election process.  The key difference however, Black says, is that attacks on public education are not always taken as threats to democracy.

The book will be featured as part of a three-part community discussion put together by the Heights Coalition for Public Education.  The coalition is an all-volunteer group of community members and includes local boards of education and teachers unions.

How best to fund 'Ohio' schools has been an issue lawmakers have wrestled with for decades.  On four separate occasions, the Ohio Supreme Court has told the state its school funding process is unconstitutional. But finding a fix has been a long legislative journey. 

A bill that would change the funding formula died in the final weeks of the last legislative session.

 Ohio marked the one year anniversary of its state of emergency declaration for the coronavirus pandemic --- yesterday. 

Now, vaccine supplies into the state are increasing, and Ohio has expanded its eligibility again; to include those 50 and older - beginning tomorrow. 

Governor Mike DeWine says the COVID-19 vaccines are a key part of getting Ohio to the benchmark numbers needed to drop health orders.

But, skepticism about the vaccines and concerns about the reliability of information regarding the pandemic may be enough to keep a sizeable percentage of the population from taking the shots. 

An Ohio State University professor is involved in a partnership with Google to address vaccine misinformation.  It is a project that grew out of similar work looking at the spread of political misinformation.

For More Information:

"Schoolhouse Burning" Community Book Discussion Details

United Way of Greater Cleveland Consent Decree Registration

Derek Black, Author, "Schoolhouse Burning, Professor of Law, University of South Carolina

Nneka Slade Jackson, President, Richmond Heights Local School Board

Karen Kasler, Statehouse News Bureau Chief, Ohio Public Radio/TV

Thomas Wood, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Ohio State University