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Eye on Education

Should the Ohio Federation of Teachers Blame Gov. John Kasich for Drop in Union Membership?

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In this recent local story about Labor Day, Ohio Federation of Teachers President Melissa Cropper blames Gov. John Kasich for Ohio unions’ declining membership rolls.

Membership in Ohio teachers’ unions has certainly been falling.

But is that Kasich’s fault?

The National Education Association, the country’s largest teachers’ union, says union membership losses are a result of three major factors: attempts by some states to restrict public employee collective bargaining rights, the growth of online learning and changing teacher demographics. Cropper adds publicly funded private school school vouchers and school funding changes to the list.

How many of those factors are under Kasich’s control?

From the News Herald:

Melissa Cropper, president of the Ohio Federation of Teachers, blames Gov. John Kasich for the drop in membership over the past couple of years…

Cropper said the implementation of tuition vouchers — which parents can use to move their children from under-performing public schools to private ones — along with changes in school funding by the governor, have resulted in more teachers being laid off.

“I think the concept the other side tries to create about unions is that we’re selfish, we’re greedy, we are barriers to success, when in actuality we are more interested in providing solutions to the problems we know exist out there,” she said. “Problems with the economy, hunger in our children, health care and even though we are a teacher’s union, we have to be sensitive to those areas and address those needs also.”

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