Ohio Educators and Allies Send Message to Governor Kasich on National Day of Action
The NEA asked stated affiliates to take part in a national day of action to demonstrate solidarity and strength from coast to coast to ensure quality public schools that are community led and student centered.
“Whose Schools? Our Schools!” – Chants filled the busy intersection of High Street and State Street in front of Governor Kasich’s office in downtown Columbus at the Riffe Tower, as more than 75 OEA members, labor, and community allies joined nationwide actions to “reclaim the promise” of public education on December 9th.
Cars honked in support as educators held up huge signs pointing out that Governor Kasich’s policies have left public schools with $515 Million less in state funding, while continuing to cut taxes for the wealthiest Ohioans. Despite the bitter cold, the OEA members were joined by allies from SEIU Local 1, UFCW Local 1059, the Ohio AFL-CIO, and community groups. Flyers handed out to pedestrians urged them to call the Governor’s office and demand he prioritize children.
“Governor Kasich continues to fund failing for-profit charter schools at the expense of our wonderful public education system,” explained OEA President Becky Higgins, “and that is just wrong!” Columbus Education Association member Daria Denoia also spoke to the crowd, noting that more than 90% of school districts cut services last year after losing funding.
A similar action in western Ohio put on by St. Mary’s Education Association drew over 300 attendees!
In Washington, D.C., advocates held a town hall meeting to develop a community led vision for public schools. In Piscataway, N.J., a “flying phone bank” was held to support tuition equity to emphasize that higher education should be attainable and affordable. In fact, across the country, parents, students, educators and community leaders held events to support public schools in more than 30 cities. Check out NEA’s Storify to read more about other actions from across the country.
The next AFT/NEA National Day of Action is planned for March.
Encourage your local association to host an event in your area!