State of Ohio Board of Education Vote to Eliminate Mandatory Art, Music, Library, Phys Ed

First, I want to say that I rarely post on this blog.    It seems as each child I give birth to depletes the time that I would otherwise give to posting on this blog.    I say this even as my 22 month old is eating a marshmallow to keep him quiet and has climbed up on a kitchen chair to try to destroy his older brother’s Lego set.

Having said that, I received an email from my son’s teacher today regarding the subject of this post.   Since I was not able to find online one location for the information I was seeking, I wanted to provide it here to you.

First, the email I received:

 On Tuesday (11/11/14), the Ohio State Board of Education will discuss and vote to eliminate mandatory Music, Art, Phys. Ed., Media Specialists, Guidance Counselors, Nurses, and Social Workers for Elementary Schools from the Ohio Administrative Code.

Currently, school code states that for every thousand elementary students, schools must have in place five of the following eight specialists: art, music, counselor, school nurse, librarian/media specialist, visiting teacher, social worker, or phys ed.

The revision would eliminate the section that includes that language. What would be left is this definition of staff:

Educational service personnel are credentialed staff with the knowledge, skills and expertise to support the educational, instructional, health, mental health, and college/career readiness needs of students.

Email the school board http://education.ohio.gov/State-Board/State-Board-Members or just give them a call (614) 728-2754 and tell them how awful this is for students and schools.

I offered to post this to this blog in hopes that those who still receive the updates would get this in their inbox, and those seeking information would find it.

I wanted to learn more about this and get my hands on some specific email addresses, here is what I found:

On Cleveland.com it sounds like the vote isn’t happening until December.   If this is the case it gives parents more time to contact their District Representative.     http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2014/11/is_the_state_school_board_kill.html

We are in District 5 so our board rep is Brad Lamb, his email address is Brad.Lamb@education.ohio.gov

The email addresses for the Board President, Debe Terhar, is Debe.Terhar@education.ohio.gov

The Board’s Vice Chairman, who is quoted in the Cleveland.com article explaining why this change is being discussed, is Tom Gunlock.   His email address is Tom.Gunlock@education.ohio.gov

I am willing to believe they are not voting on this tomorrow because it is not on the agenda:

http://education.ohio.gov/getattachment/State-Board/State-Board-Meetings/State-Board-Meetings-for-2013-1/Nov-2014-Time-Schedule.pdf.aspx

Looks like the December meeting will take place December 8-9, but they do not have the voting agenda and time schedule posted for that meeting yet.  http://education.ohio.gov/State-Board/State-Board-Meetings/State-Board-Meetings-for-2013-1

Lastly, there is a presentation online where you can find more information about the specific change:

http://www.slideshare.net/fullscreen/SusanYutzey/stand-up-for-your-child-presentation-41081030/6

If you would like to determine what District you are in and who you should contact specifically for your district, you can go to http://education.ohio.gov/State-Board/State-Board-Members for a District map and contact information.

Hope this helps!

Lorelei

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