It Looks As Though Proposed Ohio School Funding Overhaul May Have to Wait Two More Years


There was a sense of hope on March 25th, when Ohio State Representatives Bob Cupp and John Patterson proposed a new, bipartisan school funding plan for Ohio, a plan that was intended to serve as the House’s education proposal for the 2020-2021 biennial budget, which must be passed by June 30.  We owe these two legislators enormous thanks for overcoming partisan rancor and setting out to try to address school funding injustice in our state.

Under a patched together mess of additions to old formulas, Ohio’s school districts have suffered for years from state funding that hasn’t met the state’s constitutional obligation. The problem has become more serious as state revenue for schools has declined. Following the Great Recession a decade ago, Governor John Kasich and his all-Republican legislature continued the phase out of local business taxes, eliminated the state estate tax and reduced state income taxes. In a state…

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Report: Michigan took $4.5 billion from K-12 funds to plug budget holes since 2010

School desks

  AUG 23, 2018

Michigan has shifted $4.5 billion from K-12 education funding to universities and community colleges since 2010. That’s according to a new report from the Michigan League for Public Policy.

The funds have been appropriated from the School Aid Fund, established in 1955 as an amendment to the Michigan Constitution. The School Aid Fund is used exclusively to fund K-12 schools. Funds for post-secondary education, on the other hand, come from the General Fund.

The fund shifting started under Governor Jennifer Granholm’s administration as a one-time appropriation of $208 million to plug a hole in the budget created by the Great Recession.

It was supposed to be paid back.


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THIS DAY IN HISTORY April 29, 1962: Paulings Protest Nuclear Testing

#tdih 1962 Before attending a White House dinner for Nobel Prize winners, Linus and Ava Pauling joined other demonstrators, marching outside the White House against U.S. resumption of atmospheric nuclear testing. Read more below.
#sciencemarch #TeachClimateJustice

THIS DAY IN HISTORY April 28, 1987: Benjamin Linder Murdered in Nicaragua

Benjamin Ernest “Ben” Linder (July 7, 1959–April 28, 1987), a U.S. engineer working on a small hydroelectric dam in rural northern Nicaragua, was killed by the U.S. CIA funded Contras. Linder and two Nicaraguans—Sergio Hernández and Pablo Rosales—were killed in a Contra ambush on April 28, 1987. Linder was wounded by a grenade and then shot at point-blank range in the head.

In addition to volunteering as an engineer, Linder participated in vaccination campaigns, using his talents as a clown, juggler, and unicyclist to entertain the local children.


THIS DAY IN HISTORY April 27, 1859: Harriet Tubman Helped Rescue Charles Nalle


“The Altruist” by Mark Priest, 2008, acrylic on canvas, 7.5′ x 7.5′. Posted here with artist’s permission.

#tdih 1859 in Troy, New York, Harriet Tubman helped rescue Charles Nalle. He was a fugitive from slavery. Read his story on the link below.
Art used by permission of Mark Priest.


How is School Choice “Freedom” When Students Lose School Libraries and Librarians?

Libraries allow children to ask questions about the world and find the answers. And the wonderful thing is that once a child learns to use a library, the doors to learning are always open. ~Laura Bush


What choice and charter advocates don’t advertise is that most charter schools don’t invest in school libraries with qualified […]

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Nancy Bailey

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THIS DAY IN HISTORY April 26, 1937: The Bombing of Guernica

Bombing of Guernica | Zinn Education Project

Guernica painting by Pablo Picasso.

A reproduction of the painting hangs in the United Nations Security Council in New York.  When U.S. leaders were announcing the war on Iraq, they shrouded the Guernica with a blue curtain rather than allow the realities of war be in full view. Learn more in the Democracy Now! broadcast “Amy Goodman in Spain on the 75th Anniversary of Guernica Bombing, Portrayed by Picasso Painting.”



On Farming and Failing

Frazzled Farmgirl

The problem with writing publicly about all of your ventures in farming is that, sometimes, you have to write about the failures. Animals die, plants die, things break and this often opens the door to comments and suggestions from well-intentioned friends who may be a bit uninformed. I know, for example, that if I buy a dozen chicks, the odds are that one or two won’t make it. They are shipped to the farm stores when they are only one or two days old, so they are pretty fragile for such a journey. Additionally, commercial poultry companies aren’t exactly breeding for strong, healthy birds, they’re breeding for quantity. But when I share with non-farming friends, they kind of look at me like, “geez, didn’t one of your chicks die last week too?” Or when a row of plants get eaten by a mystery bug, “have you tried…”  I’m not complaining at all. I’m constantly amazed by the interest and support my friends show towards my many ventures. However, sharing our struggles can be tough. On the one hand, I know that the only way to become old and wise is to try and fail again and again, but on the other hand, I wonder if people are thinking, “do they even know what they are doing?”

Recently, I discovered the History Channel show, The American Farm. This show follows five families all farming for a living. Each family story is different:


Considering School Closures as Philadelphia’s Empty Germantown High School Faces Sheriff’s Sale


In her profound and provocative book about the community impact of Chicago’s closure of 50 so-called “underutilized” public schools at the end of the 2013 school year, Eve Ewing considers the effect of school closures on the neighborhoods they once anchored.  Ewing’s book, Ghosts in the Schoolyard, is about Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood and a set of school closures in Chicago in which 88 percent of the affected students were African American, and 71 percent of the closed schools had majority-African American teachers. (Ghosts in the Schoolyard, p. 5)

Ewing writes: “Understanding these tropes of death and mourning as they pertain not to the people we love, but to the places where we loved them, has a particular gravity during a time when the deaths of black people at the hands of the state—through such mechanisms as police violence and mass incarceration—are receiving renewed attention. As the people…

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THIS DAY IN HISTORY April 25, 1846: U.S. Mexico War Begins

First Federal Republic of Mexico in 1824. Source: Public domain.

April 25 marks the official beginning of the U.S.-Mexico War in 1846. Rethinking Schools editor Bill Bigelow explains the importance of teaching outside the textbook about the war:

Today’s border with Mexico is the product of invasion and war. Grasping some of the motives for that war and some of its immediate effects begins to provide students the kind of historical context that is crucial for thinking intelligently about the line that separates the United States and Mexico. It also gives students insights into the justifications for and costs of war today.

Read more below and find a free downloadable classroom lesson to#teachoutsidetextbook.