Ohio teachers’ union calls on governor to institute school mask mandate

The Ohio Federation of Teachers is calling on Ohio Governor Mike DeWine to institute a mask mandate for all Ohio public schools, arguing it would reduce the spread of COVID-19 and allow more schools to remain open for face-to-face instruction.

Melissa Cropper, President of the Ohio Federation of Teachers, joined America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss why mask mandates in Ohio schools are necessary to protect the health of children and teachers in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

She also discussed an upcoming union election at the Worthington Public Libraries, as well as redistricting efforts in Ohio that many argue continue to be heavily gerrymandered. Continue reading

Florida teachers union stands with District on mask requirements for student safety

Last month, a judge declared the Florida governor’s ban on mask mandates in schools to be unconstitutional. Last Friday, a Florida appeals court ruled in favor of Governor Ron DeSantis — effectively reinstating the ban mask mandate.

DeSantis has threatened to take away millions in state funding from schools that enforce mask mandates. So far, he has only rescinded salaries for board members of two counties that have instituted mask mandates — Alachua and Broward counties.

Anna Fusco, President of the Broward Teachers Union, joined America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss why her school instituted mask requirements in the face of the governor’s ban, and how her union is working to keep students and staff healthy and safe in the midst of the pandemic. Continue reading

As Ohio Goes Back to School, COVID-19 policies vary across the board

Ohio teachers and students face another difficult school year, as the COVID-19 Delta variant ravages communities, especially among those who are unvaccinated.

Though the State of Ohio recommends school districts follow the guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that encourage masking and social distancing, it has left those policies largely up to individual school districts. Continue reading

Library workers succeed in organizing, but still face union election

Library workers at one central Ohio library system have strived for nearly a year to organize and form a union. Steadily inching ever closer to achieving their goal, they face one more hurdle — the election to determine if the Union has the right to exist.

Ohio Federation of Teachers President Melissa Cropper has worked closely with the workers in their efforts and is proud of what they have accomplished. In the latest AWF Union Podcast, Cropper discussed the organizing drive, the challenges the workers faced and the need for an election despite being the only library in Ohio yet to unionize. Continue reading

Florida educators prepare for what could be a tough upcoming school year

Teachers and educators have become the targets of political attacks. Some educators believe these attacks are part of a greater goal to privatize education and strip public schools of their funding.

Florida Education Association President Andrew Spar discussed these tactics when he appeared on the AWF Union Podcast. He also talked about hybrid learning during the pandemic, teacher pay and more. Continue reading

Ohio Senate agrees on Fair School Funding Plan in budget

Ohio’s public school system has been under attack for years by state politicians. Groups are working to advocate for public schools and find ways to improve them throughout the state.

Ohio Coalition for Equity and Adequacy of School Funding (OCEAFS) is one such group that has been taking on the task for nearly three decades. OCEAFS Executive Director William Phillis joined the AWF Union Podcast to provide an update on the recently signed Ohio budget, the Fair School Funding Plan and the school voucher system. Continue reading

Ohio seeks plan to address disproportionate school funding

School funding in Ohio and other states has been a festering problem for decades. Currently there is a proposed fix going through the Ohio statehouse, which would restore school funding in underserved communities and more.

Policy Matters Ohio has been at the forefront of the education funding debate and their Senior Project Director Wendy Patton joined the AWF Union Podcast to discuss how school funding got to where it is, the Fair School Funding Plan and more. Continue reading

Teachers emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic with optimism

Teachers and students were creative during the COVID-19 pandemic, developing new methods of learning and completing work such as using video conferences. Now, with restrictions easing, teachers are looking forward to returning full-time to the classroom.

American Federation of Teachers West Virginia President Fred Albert appeared on the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss what teaching during the pandemic was like, what was learned, education in West Virginia and attracting more people to the profession. Continue reading

Teachers prepare for full time return to school

Throughout the pandemic, guidance has changed for students and their ability to return to school. While many teachers wish they could have been in the classroom fulltime, protections needed to be put in place for faculty and students.

American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten has lead public school teachers through the pandemic. President Weingarten joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to lay out the plan for teachers and students to return to school and more. Continue reading

Critics cast Critical Race Theory as “anti-white”

Conservatives are pushing back against Critical Race Theory, which proponents say more accurately details the history of the U.S.

Ohio Federation of Teachers President Melissa Cropper explained Critical Race Theory, what proponents and critics say and how it has been embraced in Ohio on America’s Work Force Union Podcast. She also discussed a controversial bill that could remove funding from public school districts. Continue reading