Why teachers are striking in one of Ohio’s largest school districts

Before voting to go on a formal strike this week, members of the Columbus Education Association held a demonstration earlier this summer. Facebook/Columbus Education Association remove caption

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by Columbus Education Association Before voting to go on a formal strike this week on Sunday night, members of the Columbus Education Association held a demonstration earlier this summer.

Facebook and Columbus Education Association This Wednesday will likely be the first day of the school year for many students in the Columbus, Ohio, public school system since over 4,500 teachers have chosen to strike.

Teachers in the district that are unionized are on strike for the first time in nearly 50 years , according to the Columbus Education Association (CEA).

After weeks of negotiations, the union voted to go on strike and Columbus City Schools were unable to come to an agreement on Sunday. According to the union, it pushed for “acceptable class sizes,” guaranteed air conditioning, and full-time instructors of art, music, and physical education at the city’s elementary schools.

The decision by the union to strike, according to Board of Education President Jennifer Adair, is a “unfortunate scenario” for families, the neighborhood, and kids.

“Children came first in our proposal to CEA, and we gave priority to their growth and education. We provided instructors with a significant remuneration package and policies that would improve classrooms, “Adair stated in the press release. “Additionally, our proposal addressed the issues that CEA had brought up during the course of the negotiations. The children in our community are the Board’s top priority, and our offer reflected that.”

Adair stated that it is “not ideal” for children to begin the new school year with online instruction. But despite the current situation, she continued, “we still have a duty to educate and support children.”

This strike occurs as U.S. schools struggle to fill openings caused by a teacher shortage. The National Education Association claims that there is a 300,000 teacher shortfall across the nation.

Teachers have described feeling burned out, discouraged, and fed up after dealing with two years of illness and disruption brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, worries about school safety, and a sense of disrespect.

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