Eye on Education

After Issue 2 Victory, Ohio Teachers Line Up to Run for State Office

Ida Lieszkovszky / StateImpact Ohio

At a Nov. 8, 2011 watch party, AFT President Randi Weingarten told the crowd that Ohio would lead the nation, starting with the defeat of Issue 2.

Fresh off their victory in defeating collective bargaining law Senate Bill 5, at least ten Ohio teachers have filed to run for seats in Ohio’s House of Representatives on the Democratic ticket.

Democratic party officials said the influx of teacher-candidates was a reaction to cuts to education funding and to Senate Bill 5, which would have sharply limited collective bargaining rights for teachers and other public employees had unions not waged a successful campaign to repeal it:

“State budget cuts and the unfair attacks in SB 5 have put educators and our children’s education directly in the crosshairs of the Republican’s anti-middle class agenda and teachers are standing up, fighting back and getting involved,” said [House Democratic Caucus Campaign Co-Chair State Rep. Debbie] Phillip. “We are very excited to have so many great teachers running for office. They are trusted and well known in their communities, which are two key components of electoral success.”

On Wednesday night, party officials were still waiting on a final count of teacher-candidates, but the candidates include at least two candidates who have served as high school government or social studies teachers: Cleveland teacher Todd LeVeck (who primarily teaches computer science) is running against Rep. Nan Baker in the 16th district. And Cleveland Heights teacher Tom Schmida is running against Rep. Kristina Roegner in the 37th district.

The 2002 Ohio Teacher of the Year, Maureen Reedy, now a “curriculum specialist” in the Upper Arlington school district, is also running for an open seat in the 24th district.

Edited to add:

On the Republican side, the only candidate identified as a teacher is Anthony Ziroli, who is running in District 56 against Rep. Dan Ramos. In a press release, the House Republicans identify Ziroli as a “former teacher.”

Note: A previous version of this story incorrectly described candidate Todd LeVeck’s teaching areas. LeVeck primarily teaches computer science, but also teachers social studies and language arts.


  • Grandparay1

    they call it a public school system because we the public pay for it. While I agree
    there should be some protection for our educators,I also believe the cuts, if any,
    should start at the top. We the people who are trying to live and make ends
    meet in this upside down economy only want the best for our children and
    Grandchildren. My suggestion would be, instead of trying to to squeeze more
    money out of us, start by teaching the basics. Evaluate each child to try to
    come up with what they excell at.
    We are of the opinion that college education is a must, well I hate to inform
    you but not all children are college material. Teachers and administration should
    have realized by now that no two children are the same. No two children have
    the same interests. Me for example, I had no comprehension of math beyond
    what was necessary. My oldest Son however has a PHD in electrical engineering.
    He loves Math and solving problems, I as his father am good in other areas, such
    as building,, repairing, fixing things that are broke. I made a living in industrial
    maintenance. repairing fork trucks, cars, truck, lights, heating systems, I can do
    cost analysis, make estimates, but I could not see the benefits at finding numbers
    that were not there.

    • A Teacher

      As an educator, I agree with you that no two children are the same and should not be taught as such. I also agree that each child’s strengths should be evaluated and enhanced. Unfortunately it was not my decision to take technical or other skills training our of the classroom. I do not decide the curriculum that must be taught. That is completely up to our political leaders and administration. I can do what I can to make sure that each child’s instruction is individualized, but I can also lose my job if I am not following the prescribed curriculum. Trust me, teachers have long “realized by now that not all children are college material”. You need to be looking at the top to make the changes that will help tomorrows children.

  • Wendy

    This is great! No 2 children are alike which is one of the reasons No Child Left Behind has been such a huge failure. While the Democrats have wanted to find alternative ways to support public schools as many systems relying on a diminished property tax base suffer, the GOP wants those poorer systems to suck it up. Ohioans have shown we believe ALL children deserve a good education, not just those lucky enough to be born into higher income zip codes. We want the best for ALL children and our teachers have been willing to make sacrifices across the board to see that children have good opportunities while Kasich’s staff has received 3 pay increases. Something very wrong with that!

  • Baker Rob J

    Cleveland Heights teacher Tom Schmida is running against Rep. Kristina Roegner in the 37th district. YEA !!! Cant wait to see Roegner Go..!!!!!

  • Tomkrick

    Great!! We need some intellectuals in government.

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