“Communities across the country are hurting. More than a million Ohioans are out of work. We know lawmakers at every level have to make very difficult choices, but education must remain a priority and Congress must act now,” OEA President Scott DiMauro said.
The financial plight of Ohio’s schools has garnered national attention and DiMauro has been asked to speak on a national telephone town hall, sponsored by the National Education Association, on Thursday, May 14, 2020 at 7 p.m. with NEA President Lily Eskelsen Garcia, CA Senator Kamala Harris and CT Congresswoman Jahana Hayes, a former national teacher of the year. The event is intended to mobilize the nation’s educators to contact Congress.
Anyone who wishes to participate can register for the event at nea.org/actiontownhall.
OEA members are calling on Congress to earmark $175 billion for education in the next federal coronavirus relief package to help mitigate the harm to students caused by budget cuts at the state and local levels. That funding is urgently needed in Ohio, particularly in the wake of Governor DeWine’s intention to cut $465 million in education funding in the current fiscal year which ends in June.
“Teachers have been heroic in their efforts to engage and educate their students while schools are closed, but there are tremendous challenges,” DiMauro said. “Many families don’t have internet access or enough devices for their children; many parents can’t help their children through the school day because they are frontline workers who must be out of the home. The challenges are especially great in the state’s poorer school districts,” he explained.
The OEA, Ohio’s largest teachers’ union, has been in touch with the offices of Ohio Senators Brown and Portman to urge their support for federal action. “Only the federal government has the resources to stabilize education funding in the country right now. Our federal lawmakers have a duty to provide the funding our kids need,” DiMauro said.
OEA members can contact their representatives in Congress at https://www.ohea.org/actions/action-alert-april-14/
OEA represents 122,000 teachers, faculty members and support professionals who work in Ohio’s schools, colleges, and universities to help improve public education and the lives of Ohio’s children. OEA members provide professional services to benefit students, schools and the public in virtually every position needed to run Ohio’s schools.