For Immediate Release
COLUMBUS, OH – Two new Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) negotiated between the Columbus Education Association, the Union representing more than 4,000 Columbus City Schools educators, and Columbus City Schools will mean more than 100 new School Counselor and Literacy Specialist positions, educator-driven learning grant opportunities, and other big wins for Columbus students, the Union announced today.
CEA and CCS reached agreement following extensive negotiations over the past several weeks. One new agreement covers next year’s CCS BlendEd blended learning program. The second agreement covers provisions for the 2021-2022 school year including the expenditure of federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds. These funds include substantial grants allocated to the district following the passage of three national COVID-19 relief bills.
“Thanks to the Federal Government’s COVID-19 relief efforts, our District has significant short-term resources to work towards the schools Columbus students deserve,” said John Coneglio, CEA President. “Our Union is proud of these agreements; they represent a milestone in our ongoing fight to ensure that frontline classroom educators are leading the discussion on how best to meet the urgent needs of our students.”
Guaranteed by the new MOUs are the hiring of more than 100 new student support positions for the 2021-2022 school year, including 33 School Counselors and 88 Primary Literacy Specialists, a program for educator-driven grants funded by ESSER to support accelerated student learning, and a new ESSER funds working group to discuss further expenditures including HVAC and other facility upgrades, student technology access, voluntary home visits, and additional newly created positions.
Also included is an important acknowledgement that students, CEA bargaining unit members, and the school community are affected by a history of racism and racial disparity in education and other institutions. CEA and CCS have agreed to jointly seek professional development opportunities which address issues of racial disparity, equity, diversity, and inclusion during the 2021-2022 school year.
CEA will continue to support legislative efforts to pass the proposed statewide Fair School Funding Plan to ensure that these wins for CCS students are sustainable long-term.
The Columbus Education Association is the union representing more than 4,000 teachers, librarians, nurses, counselors, psychologists, and other education professionals in Columbus City Schools. The Columbus Education Association is a proud affiliate of the Ohio Education Association and the National Education Association.