COLUMBUS, Ohio — Columbus teachers have hit the picket line for the second day amid their ongoing strike demanding change and improvements inside Columbus City Schools (CCS).
Columbus Education Association (CEA) voted to strike on Sunday after 22 meetings and failed negotiations with the Columbus Board of Education.
The union plans to picket until the board offers “safe, properly maintained and full resourced schools in every neighborhood,” according to CEA spokesperson Regina Fuentes.
The school board met Monday evening at Southland Center hoping to resolve contract issues with the union in an emergency executive meeting that lasted for four hours. The teachers’ union was outside the center at 7 p.m. rallying and looking for movement before the group met.
Jennifer Adair, Board of Education President released a statement Monday night following the meeting saying that the board is “working to find a collaborative path forward.” The board had no action to report.
Some of the sticking points that the union is looking to reach include:
- Smaller class sizes
- Full-time art, music and physical education teachers at the elementary level
- Functional heating and air-conditioning inside classrooms
- A cap on the number of class periods during the school day
If the board does not offer a counterproposal and no agreement is made, children enrolled in CCS will be learning remotely Wednesday through a plan laid out by the school earlier this month.
Nine recreation centers across the city will be open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday through Friday to give students a place outside their homes to access online lessons.
Monday night’s statement from CCS board president Adair:
“Tonight, we met as a Board for the first time since the CEA members voted to strike. We called this emergency meeting to have a confidential discussion at this extraordinarily sensitive time. We are working to find a collaborative path forward. We don't have action on that to report yet. But we will – soon. Our Board fully recognizes the disruption and concern felt by our children and families and across Columbus. To our school community, like you, we are saddened by this start to the school year. Be assured we will support your children and families with the resources they need in this time of uncertainty. We intend to continue to find resolution in a way that focuses on the best interests of our students. We know that is your expectation – and it is our commitment.”