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Ohio: How the Superintendents of Lorain County Are Fighting for Their Schools

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Peter Greene writes here about the 16 superintendents of Lorain County who are fighting the bad policies that will hurt students, demoralize teachers, and destroy public schools.

Greene has a special interest in Lorain because his first teaching job was at Lorain High School. Where the school was stood is now an empty lot.

The superintendents “have come together to call for big changes, particularly targeting “excessive student testing, overly strict teacher evaluations, loss of state funding to charter and online schools, and other cuts in funding.”

“Funding formulas are a special kind of bizarre in Ohio. According to the superintendents, the state actually pays more to send students to charters and cybers than to send them to public school. They offered some specific examples but the overall average is striking by itself– the state average per pupil payment to traditional public schools is $3,540 per student, but the average payment to an Ohio charter is $7,189.”

When the superintendents conducted a survey of the community, this is what they learned from the public:

“* their school districts are doing an excellent or good job,

* high quality teachers are the most important indicator of a high quality education

* earning high marks on the state report card isn’t that important

* increased state testing has not helped students

* decisions are best made at the local level,

* preschool education– especially for those students from poverty– should be expanded (and they said they would increase their taxes to support it)

* school finance is the biggest challenge facing our schools,

* and their local tax dollars should not be going to support private schools and for-profit and online charter schools”

Greene concludes:

“Ohio has been hammered hard by the reformsters, and the political leaders of the state have made no secret of their love for charters and privatization. It’s nice to see an entire county’s worth of school leaders standing up to fight back for public education.”

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