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US HVAC is a major hang-up for Columbus teachers union

04:30  17 august  2022
04:30  17 august  2022 Source:   dispatch.com

Minneapolis school district DEFENDS laying off white teachers to 'reverse past racism'

  Minneapolis school district DEFENDS laying off white teachers to 'reverse past racism' Minneapolis Public Schools defends its upcoming contract, saying it is a 'remedy the continuing effects of past discrimination'Minneapolis Public Schools doubled down on its deal, which states instead of teacher layoffs or relocations being decided based on seniority – as is typical – schools can ignore that protocol and dismiss senior staff members if otherwise a teacher of color would be laid off.

Happy Wednesday, Mobile Newsroomies!

Students stand outside Columbus Alternative High School on Aug. 28, 2018, in this Dispatch file photo. On that day, Columbus City Schools dismissed students from classes early because of the heat. The district is now in the process of relaunching its facilities master plan, which is expected to recommend replacing the nearly 100-year-old building, which isn't fully air-conditioned. [Kyle Robertson/Dispatch file photo] © Kyle Robertson Students stand outside Columbus Alternative High School on Aug. 28, 2018, in this Dispatch file photo. On that day, Columbus City Schools dismissed students from classes early because of the heat. The district is now in the process of relaunching its facilities master plan, which is expected to recommend replacing the nearly 100-year-old building, which isn't fully air-conditioned. [Kyle Robertson/Dispatch file photo]

As an education reporter, August means the end of the summer and the beginning of back-to-school season. The chalk dust has barely settled but, boy, this month has already been busy.

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  Lawyers react to 'illegal' agreement in Minneapolis to lay off White teachers first The agreement between the Minneapolis public school district and teachers union exempted "underrepresented" teachers from layoffs, regardless of seniority."The Supreme Court has been crystal clear, public schools cannot terminate teachers based on their skin color," Kimberly Hermann, general counsel for the Southeastern Legal Foundation told Fox News Digital. "The contract between Minneapolis Public Schools and the local teachers union (aka K-12 cartel) is unconstitutional, illegal, and sets our country back decades in race relations.

Mobile Newsroom alum and K-12 education reporter Megan Henry has been following the contract negotiations between the Columbus Education Association and the Columbus City Schools Board of Education. Despite 21 bargaining sessions, the teachers union and district have yet to agree on a new contract.

A major hang-up for the teachers union, among other things, is to have functioning heating ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems in schools.

The district has responded to the issue by saying it is updating the HVAC systems in 13 of its 109 school buildings this summer using $35.6 million in federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Funds created due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

HVAC systems will be completed at seven of those buildings in time for the scheduled start of classes, but work at six other buildings won't be completed until September. Two other buildings — Columbus Alternative High School and Hubbard Elementary School — will have to wait until next year to get building-wide air conditioning.

Where can Columbus City Schools students get their meals if there is a teachers strike?

  Where can Columbus City Schools students get their meals if there is a teachers strike? If Columbus City Schools teachers are on strike once the school year begins, students can pick up grab-and-go meals at 25 schools districtwide.Free breakfast and lunch is provided to all students in the Columbus City Schools, the state's largest district with more than 47,000 students, through the Community Eligibility Provision of the U.S. Department of Agriculture that covers schools in low-income, high-poverty areas.

Of the 13 schools the district said will have HVAC by September, the majority of them are located in current or upcoming Mobile Newsroom neighborhoods. You can find the complete list at this link.

"We are just asking for patience," Alex Trevino, the district's director of capital improvements, said of students, staff and parents. "We certainly want to get those air conditioning units turned on as soon as we can."

So what does HVAC have to do with the Mobile Newsroom?

Columbus City Schools is the state’s largest district with some 47,000 students. Many of those students live in the communities we're committed to covering through the Mobile Newsroom.

Reporters have met some of them at the libraries while we're working. Eating snacks after school. Jumping rope in the courtyard. Proudly spelling out their names and sharing their favorite colors with us.

Regardless of how you feel about a potential teachers strike, I hope we can all agree that kids deserve to learn in comfortable spaces.

Columbus Education Association will vote tonight on whether to strike

  Columbus Education Association will vote tonight on whether to strike The nearly 4,500-member Columbus Education Association will meet Sunday at the Greater Columbus Convention Center to vote on whether to strike.The doors shut shortly after 7 p.m. with the nearly 4,500-member union, which represents teachers, librarians, nurses, counselors, psychologists and other education professionals, inside.

Checking in: Reporter Micah Walker visited the Northland library branch this week, our first Mobile Newsroom location from almost a year ago! She'll be stopping by the branch more frequently. If you're in the neighborhood, be sure to stop by and say hi.

Coming up: Our Mobile Newsroom kickoff event in Linden will take place on Aug. 22 from 5 to 6:30 p.m. at the Columbus Metropolitan Library Linden branch at 2223 Cleveland Ave.

Come and meet reporters like Ceili Doyle, Taijuan Moorman, and Cameron Teague Robinson, as well as The Dispatch's new executive editor Edwina Blackwell Clark!

What's happening: Speaking of schools, local nonprofit A Step in the Right Direction is holding its third-annual Back-to-School Bash this Sunday at the Westgate Football Field at 3237 Wicklow Road. Bring the kids out for a community celebration and get them ready for the school year! Each child will receive a backpack full of school supplies; they must be present to receive it.

Columbus Education Association holds mass picketing outside emergency school board meeting

  Columbus Education Association holds mass picketing outside emergency school board meeting A massive crowd of CEA teachers, support staff and community members rallied outside the emergency school board meeting at Southland Center.More than 1,000 people were estimated to have walked up and down multiple blocks of South High Street outside the Columbus City Schools' Southland Center Monday night, holding signs and chanting as they did during the day Monday when CEA members picketed outside the same administration building and 19 of the district's more than 100 schools.

The event is sponsored by CareSource, FatherUp! and Townhall Short North. The Columbus Division of Fire will be there with a fire truck for kids to explore, as well as DJs and other entertainment. For more information, visit this link.

As always, thank you for reading! If you aren't already, please consider subscribing to the Dispatch. And if someone sent you this email, make sure you subscribe to this newsletter to never miss an issue.

Until next week,

Sheridan Hendrix

Email: shendrix@dispatch.com

Twitter: @sheridan120

This article originally appeared on The Columbus Dispatch: HVAC is a major hang-up for Columbus teachers union

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