Eye on Education

Ohio Education Association Executive Director Says Politicization of Public Education Isn’t a Good Thing

OEA Executive Director Larry Wicks

Ohio Education Association

OEA Executive Director Larry Wicks

The executive director of Ohio’s largest teachers union, the Ohio Education Association, will retire at the end of this year after more than 40 years working with teachers unions in Ohio and other states.

Larry Wicks has served as the Ohio union’s executive director since 2008. He led the successful 2011 campaign to repeal Senate Bill 5, which would have limited public sector collective bargaining.

He talked with StateImpact Ohio about what he considers some of the most notable changes in education that have occurred during his career.

Wicks says:

During the course of my career, public education has become highly politicized. I don’t think public education is an ideology. I think public education is not only a fundamental right for the students in this state, but it is also the foundation on which you build the economy of this state.

To treat it in other ways is not very helpful.

And listening to the voices of those who actually do the work would make a lot of difference in terms of the outcomes that we get.

Wicks will be succeeded by Arizona Education Association Executive Director Sheryl Mathis.


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