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Teacher’s union boss courts GOP, key Hispanic groups in bid for Biden’s education secretary pick

The former president of the nation’s largest teachers union is working to lock up support from Republican senators and Hispanic leaders in her bid to be picked as Education secretary, according to officials familiar with the talks.



a close up of Lily Eskelsen García who is smiling at the camera: Lily Eskelsen García speaks at a news conference.


© Andrew Harnik/AP Photo
Lily Eskelsen García speaks at a news conference.

Lily Eskelsen García is expected to score the backing of more than 40 Hispanic groups finalizing a letter endorsing her for the position this week. She has also strategized in recent weeks with Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), the retiring chair of the Senate committee that oversees education and himself a former Education secretary.

“We’ve talked with her and gave her advice on how to get bipartisan support,” said David Cleary, Alexander’s chief of staff and veteran of education policy on Capitol Hill. “There’s a good argument to be made for Lily.”

The National Hispanic Leadership Agenda, a collection of more

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Cleveland-Heights University-Heights board of education, teachers union reach tentative agreement, averting strike

CLEVELAND, Ohio — The Cleveland-Heights University-Heights school district’s board of education and teachers union reached a tentative agreement on Wednesday, averting a strike from about 500 union members.

A strike was set to begin Wednesday, and some educators showed up to picket without knowing an agreement was close, according to a press release from the district.

“The parties negotiated all of last night and into the morning, ultimately agreeing on important compromises for the good of our students and community,” the joint statement read. “Due to negotiations going until 6:30 a.m., some Union members arrived to picket unaware that a tentative agreement was already near completion. We are happy that a strike was averted and students’ education will not be interrupted.”

A picket line formed on Wednesday morning, despite the remnants of a winter storm that blew through Northeast Ohio on Tuesday. School was closed for all students on Wednesday

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Cleveland Heights-University Heights teachers to strike Wednesday

“We remain ready to return to the negotiations table,” says Board of Education President Jodi Sourini.

CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, Ohio — 500 educators in the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District are set to begin their strike on Wednesday morning. 

The members of the Cleveland Heights Teachers Union (CHTU) say they are striking in response to the district’s unilateral imposition of a new contract that slashes retirement and health benefits, costing many members $3,000-5,000 a year in losses. 

“Union members are taking this step because lowering standards in the district will increase turnover and drive experienced, skilled educators out of the school district, impacting the quality of education for our students,” the CHTU wrote in its statement announcing the strike.

With the teachers set to strike, the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District says state law, not the will of the Board, will mandate that those picketing will lose their health

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Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District votes to strip healthcare benefits for striking teachers

The Board of Education for Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District (CH-UH) has voted to strip healthcare benefits from striking teachers, counselors, nurses, and other school support professionals, the Cleveland Heights Teachers Union (CHTU) revealed in a release on Friday.

RELATED: More local news from WKYC

Last week, the CHTU filed a notice to strike following months of negotiations between the union and school district on a new contract. The CHTU’s strike is set to begin on Wednesday, Dec. 2.

“This outrageous move by our Board of Education is a heavy-handed attempt to quash our collective action by taking away our health insurance during the peak of a global pandemic,” CHTU President Karen Rego said in a release. “We made the hard decision to plan for a strike to protect the quality health insurance that we have gained over the years by forgoing wage increases, and now the district is

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Despite teachers’ concerns, Danbury schools to open to about 100 special education students

DANBURY — About 100 students with the most significant special education needs are expected to return to the school buildings on Monday, over the objection of the teachers’ union.

These students will be the first in the Danbury Public Schools buildings since everyone was sent home in mid-March at the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

Rising coronavirus numbers have sparked fear that the mitigation strategies the district plans to implement to prevent the spread of the virus will not be enough.

“We are doing everything we could possibly do,” school board member Joe DaSilva said at Tuesday evening’s meeting. “But there is only so many things you can do getting in a cage with a hungry lion, and that’s what we’re doing unfortunately.”

Danbury administrators have faced heavy criticism from parents, including those with children who have special needs, for staying on distance learning throughout the academic year. The plan

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Sand Springs Education Foundation announces annual grants for district teachers, classrooms | News



Pratt Elementary

Pratt Elementary Counselor Mindy Lee had two grants approved through the Sand Springs Education Foundation. SSEF approved 36 grants across the district worth a combined $63,000.


Shawn Hein



Christmas came early for several Sand Springs teachers on Monday, Nov. 23.

The Sand Springs Education Foundation dispersed its annual grants for teachers and classrooms around the district. SSEF approved each of the 36 requested grants which totaled approximately $63,000, according to SSEF Director Tirita Montross.

The program awards grants to Sand Springs teachers and principals for projects or items they wouldn’t otherwise be able to fund.

“It’s like a Christmas present,” Montross said. “They dream big and a wish is granted. It’s so exciting.”

In previous years, SSEF members have celebrated the occasion by surprising teachers in their classrooms with their gifts. However, due to social distancing restrictions, site principals presented teachers with their commemorative checks.

“It’s definitely a let down

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New Reebok line honors teachers who are reimagining education during the pandemic

In September, Reebok honored nurses and frontline workers by featuring them in a shoe collection. Now, the second Reebok x Wonder Woman campaign puts the spotlight on another vital group of essential workers: teachers.

The Boston-based company debuted the line Wednesday with the help of four education professionals from the Boston area. In a release, Reebok commended each for adapting to the ways the COVID-19 pandemic has upended their professional and personal lives.

Courtney Gould is one of four women featured in the second Reebok x Wonder Woman campaign.
Courtney Gould is one of four women featured in the second Reebok x Wonder Woman campaign.Reebok

Many school districts statewide are teaching classes remotely, with students and teachers having to interact online all or part of the time. And, as with so many other parents, teachers are juggling changing work routines along with their own family responsibilities.

“Over the past nine months, teachers have worked tirelessly to provide their students and parents with some semblance of

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Biden’s plan for teachers, schools hits snag amid pandemic

President-elect Joe Biden promised to give teachers a pay raise and direct more money to schools that serve low-income children, but those education reforms will have to take a back seat to emergency needs as schools fight to save teacher jobs and close funding gaps during the pandemic.

Education groups say that more than half a million teachers and school personnel have been laid off and more turmoil is on the horizon unless the federal government steps in with emergency funding. Those critical needs must be addressed first, they said, over the more aspirational parts of Biden’s education agenda.

Biden’s education plan to “give teachers a raise” and “eliminate the funding gap between white and non-white districts,” relies on expanding the federal education aid provision known as Title I, which he cannot do without Congress.

Additional funding for low-income schools and an increase in teacher compensation will be difficult

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R.I. education chief warns ‘something drastic’ is coming if a deal can’t be reached with Providence teachers

But Infante-Green has always maintained that a true transformation of Rhode Island’s largest and most dysfunctional school district would require an overhaul of the teachers’ union contract, which expired Aug. 31. In an interview Tuesday, she bluntly described the status of negotiations as going “nowhere.”

And then she drew a line in the sand.

“By the end of the year, if we have not made changes, we’re going to have to do something drastic,” Infante-Green said. “And it will be drastic.”

The apparent deadline set by Infante-Green is sure to rankle the leadership of the Providence Teachers Union, which has hosted most of the negotiating sessions every Monday and Thursday from 3 to 6 p.m. for several months. But it’s also the clearest sign yet that the state is considering entering uncharted legal waters by unilaterally altering the contract.

“If that’s what they’re hoping for, they should have just done

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‘Someone who understands:’ Teachers want next secretary of education to be an educator

Joe Biden had no sooner been declared president-elect over the weekend than teachers across the region started posting farewell messages to President Donald Trump’s Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on social media.

“‘Bye Betsy,’ Sincerely teachers,” was the retweet from Cassandra Maxell, a teacher at Roosevelt School in Bridgeport.

She and other public school educators have one word of advice on the next U.S. Secretary of Education: Make it a teacher.

“I would love to see a new secretary of education have an educational background,” said Ansonia Schools Superintendent Joseph DiBacco on Monday. “Someone who will ensure equal access and diversity in education, a person with a deep understanding of educational policy and funding … and has a pulse on national issues impacting our students and schools.”

DeVos was not an educator. She was a philanthropist who was an investor in for-profit colleges and a supporter of school choice and voucher

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