OFT Update - Legislative issues 2.22.17

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State must not mandate educator-business externships

Requiring educators to complete externships at local businesses in order to get a license to teach is a bad idea. While some educators might like to have the option to do an externship for license renewal, this should not be a mandate. Teachers, as part of their regular practice, are always looking for ways to make the connections between content and authentic work experiences. An externship, in most cases though, is not the avenue for making these connections. More beneficial would be a reduction in mandated testing and the practice testing that accompanies it so that more time is available for project-based learning and for bringing guests into the classroom. OFT, in conversations with multiple legislators and with the director of the governor's Executive Workforce Board, has stated repeatedly that business leaders need to spend time in classrooms in order to better understand challenges faced by both our students and teachers. We are opposed to this mandate and will continue to fight it. 

See Hannah's Week in Review on this and other topics.

Vouchers: Legislators seek to expand use of public dollars for private school tuition

OFT has long opposed vouchers because they use taxpayer money to pay for private school tuition. A new proposal by Sen. Matt Huffman would combine and expand the state's many programs in an attempt to further privatize education. This particular bill dispels the myth that vouchers are created to help children living in low wage families as it is targeted at middle income families who wish to send their children to religious institutions. The bill would not only pay for this choice but would also allow parents to bank any excess tuition money to pay for future college expenses. Proposals like this are indicative of the type of education system promoted by Betsy DeVos and one of the primary reasons we opposed her nomination as secretary of education. Now that she has that position, we can expect to see more pushes for privatization and must be prepared to fight back. We will soon need your voice on this issue as it moves to the process of committee hearings. Stay tuned for the call to action. 

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OFT Update - Legislative issues is an e-newsletter of the Ohio Federation of Teachers.