Ohio Education Leaders Weigh-in on Presidential Race

[photo: Benjamin Chun/ flickr]
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by Michelle Faust

Both presidents of Ohio’s leading teachers’ unions are representing the state as delegates supporting Hillary Clinton at the Democratic National Convention this week in Philadelphia.

Each leader says they agree with the former Secretary of State’s support of early childhood education, educator training, and public schools.

“She has been very, very clear that she is opposed to for-profit charters and that she will hold all charters to high expectations, and high accountability standards,” says Melissa Cropper, president of the Ohio Federation of Teachers.

Becky Higgins, who leads the Ohio Education Association, says her organization isn’t opposed to charter schools, but she disagrees with the way they’ve been implemented in Ohio.

Last week, Republican Candidate Donald Trump spoke in favor of school choice while in Cleveland at the RNC.

Higgins says charter school choices need to be defined, “Those schools need to be transparent; they need to be held accountable to the same standards as public schools are.”

Many Ohio conservatives are concerned about federal education policy, preferring oversight closer to home.

“Donald Trump: He’s against Common Core. He's against federal intrusion and he is for school choice,” says Andrew Brenner (R), Chair of the Ohio House Education Committee.

By federal intrusion, Brenner is referring to the Republican candidate’s plan to dissolve the U.S. Department of Education.

The state legislature passed a house bill 2 last year. The law intends to provide more oversight to Ohio charter schools.

The conversation on this topic continues on The Sound of Ideas.

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