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CEA President Rhonda Johnson

Welcome back! We at the CEA are preparing for a great school year. However, we are starting on a bittersweet note. Seventeen teachers from Superintendent Harris’ layoff list remain reduced, and we continue to fight for their jobs. However, 96 teachers have been recalled to work (or declined positions), a slight victory for our vigilance. We also hear that the state has received funds that could be applied to teacher salaries, if the governor so chooses.

We have seen the results of last year’s tests. Results were mixed. One big marker, our graduation rate, showed a slight dip. But we know it won’t stay there long. We’ve already made a lot of progress, and this year marks the beginning of a redoubled reform plan. Thanks to a $1.25 million grant from the NEA Foundation, CEA, along with the school district and United Way of Central Ohio, will begin implementing our effort to increase academic achievement in the Briggs and Linden-McKinley feeder patterns. Thirteen schools will be the intense focus of a community-wide effort to help their children and families address obstacles blocking success.

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Ohio is a finalist for the second round of Race to the Top

Ohio was one of 36 states that submitted an application to the second round of the United States Department of Education’s Race to the Top (RttT) competitive grant program. The Department recently announced that due to the strength of its application, Ohio was one of 18 states and the District of Columbia that earned RttT finalist status. This marks the second time Ohio has earned finalist status for RttT. The Columbus Education Association and Columbus City Schools were co-signatories on Ohio’s first and second round RttT applications.

Ohio’s RttT pitch team is expected to give their presentation to a panel of judges during the week of Aug. 9 in Washington, D.C. Ohio’s first round pitch team included Governor Ted Strickland, State Supt. Deborah Delisle, CCS Supt. Gene Harris, Deputy State Supt. Marilyn Troyer and Jim Mahoney, Executive Director of Battelle for Kids. Education Secretary Arne Duncan will announce RttT winners in early September.

In Franklin County, a total of 11 school districts signed on to the state’s RttT application.  They include: Bexley, Columbus, Canal Winchester, Dublin, Grandview Heights, Groveport Madison, Hiliard, Reynoldsburg, Upper Arlington, Whitehall and Worthington. Only five districts declined to join the state’s application, including: Gahanna, Hamilton Local, New Albany, South-Western and Westerville.

Ohio has asked for $400 million from the federal government to implement the reforms outlined in the state’s application. Columbus City Schools could receive more than $20 million if Ohio’s proposal is accepted by the federal government.

Delegates represent CEA members at national urban council

Delegates from the Columbus Education Association (CEA) attended the 2010 Summer Meeting of the National Council of Urban Education Associations (NCUEA) in New Orleans from June 26-29. CEA has been a member of the council for many years. Ohio members of NCUEA include CEA, the Dayton Education Association and the South-Western Education Association.

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