State Sen. Nina Turner says she will introduce legislation tomorrow that, if approved, would change how the Cleveland schools operate and spend tax dollars.
The proposed legislation is part of Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson’s attempts to improve the struggling school district. Less than half of Cleveland fifth graders passed state reading and math tests last year. About half of the freshmen who entered high school as members of the Class of 2010 graduated on time.
Earlier drafts of Jackson’s proposed legislation have included provisions that would end tenure for new teachers and share tax levy proceeds with some charter schools.
Cleveland powerbrokers and teachers union officials have been meeting privately over the past two weeks, working to come to an agreement on the proposed legislation. WKSU’s Kevin Niedermier reports that the two sides have agreed on some parts of the proposed bill, but at least one major sticking point remains:
The union is balking on one point: The mayor wants the power to begin with contract negotiations afresh with no carryover provisions from the old contract. The union says the administration should do what it always has: Start with the framework of the old contract and bargain from that.
For now, the fresh-start provision is in the bill. The mayor says that could still change…
As we wrote earlier, the “fresh-start” provision could be appealing to the district’s leadership because having to negotiate with the teachers union along the way could make it harder for district administrators to push through changes.
But the president of the Ohio Federation of Teachers, the parent organization for the Cleveland Teachers Union, has called it a “deal-breaker.” Starting contract talks with a blank slate — and without often hard-fought provisions affecting working conditions, assignments, pay and other areas — is not appealing to teachers.