Cleveland-Heights University Heights School District threatens to halt health care benefits if teachers strike

On November 27, the Cleveland-Heights-University Heights School District (CH-UH) located just outside of Cleveland, Ohio announced it will stop the payment of health care benefits for the roughly 500 teachers and other school employees that are planning to strike on December 2. Teachers and other school employees have been working without a contract since June 30.

The strike threat by CH-UH teachers takes place as the COVID-19 pandemic is raging out of control in Ohio and across the US amid a continued push by the ruling class to re-start in person learning. Ohio is experiencing a daily average of 7,817 new cases and 42 daily deaths.

Dayton, Ohio (Photo: Nyttend/Wikipedia)

Elizabeth Kirby, superintendent of the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District, said in a statement, “When public school teachers choose to go on strike, they are knowingly walking away from wages and benefits.” She also called on the leadership of the Cleveland Heights Teachers Union (CHTU) American Federation of Teachers (AFT) Local 795 to inform members of the retaliatory measures planned by the school district.

The district’s threat to end payments for health care to roughly 500 teachers and other school employees in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic is a brutal attempt to intimidate a growing wave of opposition by educators across the US and internationally to the homicidal school reopening policy of the ruling class. A similar attempt to intimidate school workers took place earlier this month, with a court granting a restraining order requested by local school officials against Dayton, Ohio school bus drivers, who organized a sickout over failed contract talks.

The action by CH-UH and Dayton school officials, expose the bipartisan attack on public education. Both Cuyahoga County, where Cleveland Heights is located, and Dayton are dominated by the Democratic Party.

Both areas have been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the Ohio Department of Health, there have been 9,737 COVID-19 cases in Cuyahoga County and 4,344 cases in Montgomery County—where Dayton is located—between November 11 and November 24. On November 18 the Centerville schools outside of Dayton announced they would return to remote only learning after a surge of COVID-19 cases.

The department of health has also labeled Cuyahoga a “Level 3 Public Emergency,” meaning the county has a “very high exposure and spread” of the virus. Montgomery County is a “Level 4 Public Emergency,” meaning it has “sever exposure and spread.”

According to the CH-UH reporting, between November 18 and 25 there have been seven new COVID-19 cases among staff and one case among students.

As part of previous negotiations between the CHTU and CH-UH officials, the district has insisted that teachers accept massive hikes in health care premiums. A proposed tentative agreement—which was voted down by the CHTU membership in late September—called for health care premiums to increase from 6 percent to 15 percent on top of new co-pays and deductibles. The CHTU has claimed that the increase in premiums would have cost between $3,000 and $5,000 for many teachers.

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FOOTBALL: College Park rallied behind teammate in district title win

Every time Dylon DeAngelo carried the ball for College Park on Friday night, the home stands roared.

The senior tailback had a community behind him, a team behind him, and an angel behind him.

Dylon’s father, Tony, died unexpectedly Monday, days before the Cavaliers would take on rival The Woodlands for the District 13-6A title.

“He’s the reason why I love football and who I am right now,” Dylon said Friday night. “He just loved the sport — loved coaching it, loved watching it, loved being a part of it, being a part of my life as well as sports.”

DeAngelo’s first carry of the night came in the second half, a 2-yard rush on 1st and 15. He got a standing ovation. The next two carries, for five yards and two yards, got the same.

“It’s been tough for Dylon and this entire community,” Cavaliers coach Lonnie Madison said. “That was a bunch of people supporting him.”

DeAngelo’s fourth and final carry of the night caused the home stands and sideline to erupt.

Right after College Park kept its drive alive with a defensive pass interference call on fourth down, DeAngelo took the hand off and scored on a 14-yard run with 2:03 to play. It put the Cavaliers ahead 35-31 after the extra point. That’s where the score stayed.

“I felt like (my dad) was right behind me the entire way,” DeAngelo said. “I know he was watching. He was cheering me on and whispering in my ear telling me what I needed to do, that I needed to get my head straight and win for my team. Do what you need to do for your team.”

Feeling the presence of his father and the support from the College Park community, DeAngelo knew the game-winning score was only the beginning of his capability.

“Ever since I started playing football, my dad was a coach,” he said. “He’d always been there for me, always gave me encouragement. Touching the ball with my team behind me and encouraging me to play, I could move mountains and clear the sky if I wanted to.”

College Park’s win was significant in a few ways. It snapped a 12-game losing streak to the Highlanders, was the second-ever win for the Cavs in the series and was the first-ever district title for the program.

With a week off before their bi-district contest the second weekend of December, College Park sits at 8-1. It’s a win total the program has only reached one other time, in 2007 when the Cavs went 9-2. That was also the only other time College Park defeated The Woodlands.

This season, College Park has prided itself on finding different ways to win.

In Week 1 against Cinco Ranch, it was three touchdown passes by Ty Buckmon.

When district play opened a month ago against Grand Oaks, a 14-3 second half propelled the Cavs to victory.

Down 17-7 late in the first half against Conroe a few weeks ago, Curt Evangelister

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Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District votes to strip healthcare benefits for striking teachers

The Board of Education for Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District (CH-UH) has voted to strip healthcare benefits from striking teachers, counselors, nurses, and other school support professionals, the Cleveland Heights Teachers Union (CHTU) revealed in a release on Friday.

RELATED: More local news from WKYC

Last week, the CHTU filed a notice to strike following months of negotiations between the union and school district on a new contract. The CHTU’s strike is set to begin on Wednesday, Dec. 2.

“This outrageous move by our Board of Education is a heavy-handed attempt to quash our collective action by taking away our health insurance during the peak of a global pandemic,” CHTU President Karen Rego said in a release. “We made the hard decision to plan for a strike to protect the quality health insurance that we have gained over the years by forgoing wage increases, and now the district is seeking to punish us by eliminating our healthcare altogether.”

In a statement, CH-UH City School District Superintendent Elizabeth Kirby and CH-UH City School District Board of Education President Jodi Sourini said that the district remains committed to resolving its issues with the Union. They also noted “when public school teachers choose to go on strike, they are knowingly walking away from wages and benefits.”

“That is the definition of a strike – employees choose to walk away from their compensation in order to influence terms and conditions of employment,” the statement reads. “Ceasing wages and benefits is required for public sector employees in Ohio under state law. We sincerely hope Union leadership informed its members of this and what choosing to strike means.”

The school district also noted that employees are eligible to continue their health benefits through COBRA during the strike, but will be responsible for paying for the coverage. The union, meanwhile, stated that its strike comes after “the district unilaterally imposed the terms of their final contract proposal, which will raise healthcare premiums to 250% of the current rate, while also reducing other compensation by 1%. For many CHTU members that adds up to a $3,000-$5,000 loss in total compensation.”

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Sand Springs Education Foundation announces annual grants for district teachers, classrooms | News

Pratt Elementary

Pratt Elementary Counselor Mindy Lee had two grants approved through the Sand Springs Education Foundation. SSEF approved 36 grants across the district worth a combined $63,000.

Shawn Hein

Christmas came early for several Sand Springs teachers on Monday, Nov. 23.

The Sand Springs Education Foundation dispersed its annual grants for teachers and classrooms around the district. SSEF approved each of the 36 requested grants which totaled approximately $63,000, according to SSEF Director Tirita Montross.

The program awards grants to Sand Springs teachers and principals for projects or items they wouldn’t otherwise be able to fund.

“It’s like a Christmas present,” Montross said. “They dream big and a wish is granted. It’s so exciting.”

In previous years, SSEF members have celebrated the occasion by surprising teachers in their classrooms with their gifts. However, due to social distancing restrictions, site principals presented teachers with their commemorative checks.

“It’s definitely a let down on a personal level to not see the smiles and the appreciation in person,” Montross said. “But I’ve already gotten thank yous and emails. The board always feels the appreciation.”

The amount of the individual grants ranged from approximately $300 to $7,000.

Here are a few of those that were granted:

Clyde Boyd Middle School science teacher Janet Johnson wrote a grant for an aerial botball program for her robotics class.

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FOOTBALL ROUNDUP: Montgomery, College Park wins set up district title bouts

Montgomery remained unbeaten in District 10-5A (Div. II) play with a 42-31 road victory over Lamar Consolidated Friday night.

The Bears (6-2, 4-0), who have won five consecutive games, now have a huge matchup against No. 4 state-ranked Huntsville (7-0, 4-0) at 7:30 p.m. next Friday at Montgomery ISD Stadium. The winner will clinch a share of the district title and the No. 1 seed for the playoffs.

Huntsville defeated Montgomery 42-0 two years ago in district play, but the teams did not meet on the field last season as the Bears forfeited that contest.

Montgomery leaned on its rushing attack against Lamar Consolidated, as Adavion Johnson and Jalen Washington combined for 340 yards. Johnson collected 183 yards and three touchdowns on 29 carries. Washington finished with 157 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries.

Brock Bolfing threw a touchdown to Triston Johnson, and Mason White had an interception on defense.

College Park tops Oak Ridge

College Park picked up a key 35-7 victory over Oak Ridge in District 13-6A play Friday night.

The win sets up a winner-take-all district championship game against rival The Woodlands (5-2, 4-0) at 7 p.m. next Friday at Woodforest Bank Stadium. The Highlanders have won 12 straight games in the series.

The Cavaliers (7-1, 4-0), ranked No. 20 in the Class 6A Houston Area Media Poll, got a standout game from receiver Holden Rook against Oak Ridge. He had just two catches, but finished with 129 yards and two touchdowns. Quarterback Hank Hudson completed 4 of 9 passes for 193 yards and two scores.

The College Park defense allowed 293 total yards and forced three turnovers.

Oak Ridge (5-3, 2-2) can clinch its first playoff berth since 2017 with a victory over Grand Oaks next week. That game will be played at 2 p.m. Friday at Woodforest Bank Stadium. The War Eagles could also clinch a playoff spot with a loss against the Grizzlies, as long as Willis also loses to Conroe.

Oak Ridge scored its lone touchdown against College Park with a 20-yard pass from Steve Smedley to Landon Lightsey in the first quarter. Smedley threw for 103 yards, and Lightsey had six catches for 71. Alton McCaskill rushed for 153 yards on 23 carries, and Sammy Keith had an interception on defense.

Lake Creek falls to Huntsville

Lake Creek lost 49-14 against Huntsville in District 10-5A (Div. II) action Friday night in Madisonville.

The Lions (6-3, 3-2), who have already clinched their first-ever playoff berth, are tied for third place in the standings with A&M Consolidated. The Tigers, however, hold the head-to-head tiebreaker.

Lake Creek has a bye next week before taking on rival Montgomery in the regular-season finale.

College Station routs Caney Creek

Caney Creek suffered a 72-0 loss at College Station in District 8-5A (Div. I) action Friday night.

The Panthers (0-8, 0-6) return to action at 7 p.m. next Friday against Lufkin at Moorhead Stadium.

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District 25-6A football update: Career day by Israel Morgan helps Round Rock get above .500 – Sports – Austin American-Statesman


Team of the Week: Vandegrift

The Vipers (4-1, 3-0 District 25-6A) were dominant in a 35-6 win over Cedar Ridge which marked their 19th straight district win. Vandegrift’s defense held the Raiders to 160 yards of offense and had an interception return for a touchdown, while its offense had a balanced attack as Ryan Back threw for 168 yards and the Vipers rushed for 145 yards as a team. Ryan Sheppard scored two touchdowns on the ground, Reece Beauchamp added a score with his legs, and Back hit Bowen Lewis for a 33-yard TD. Logan Arnold had the Vipers’ pick-six, returning it 45 yards in the fourth quarter. Vandegrift hasn’t lost a district game since Nov. 10, 2017, when it fell to Lake Travis.

Player of the Week: Israel Morgan, Round Rock

Morgan, a senior, scored six touchdowns overall as he ran for a career-high 252 yards and five touchdowns and added a receiving score to lead the Dragons to a 55-9 win over McNeil. Morgan had scoring runs of 2, 5, 64, 10 and 4 yards and caught a 9-yard TD pass from Seth Ford.

The Dragons (3-2, 2-1) rushed for 437 yards, with Tray McCoy-Gay adding 140 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. Ford finished 11 of 12 through the air for 75 yards.

Honorable mention: Kyle Brown, Vista Ridge

Brown, a senior, completed 17 of 22 passes for 302 yards and four touchdowns as the Rangers topped Westwood, 48-21. Brown hit Kwade Hegtvedt (8 receptions, 125 yards) and Jacob Bowerman (4 catches, 104 yards) for two TDs apiece. Alex Berndlmaier added two scores on the ground for the Rangers (5-1, 3-1). For the season, Brown has thrown for 22 touchdowns and more than 1,700 yards.

The rest of the district

Hutto (3-2, 2-1) defeated Stony Point, 29-9, behind 284 yards and two touchdowns passing from freshman William Hammond. Sean Davis hauled in five passes for 100 yards and both of Hammond’s scoring throws, while Brody Bujnoch ran for two scores for the Hippos. Cameron Cook rushed for 78 yards and a TD to pace the Tigers (1-2, 0-2). … Joaquin Sandoval had a 4-yard TD run for Cedar Ridge (2-3, 1-2). … RJ Martinez threw for 220 yards and a touchdown and had another score with his legs for Westwood (2-2, 1-1). … Jackson Collins threw a 58-yard touchdown pass to Jarvis Anderson for McNeil (0-6, 0-4).


Game of the Week: Vista Ridge at Hutto (Friday)

Are the Hippos a serious playoff contender? We should know more after this game, which features two teams with one district loss. Hutto’s wins came against McNeil and Stony Point, and the competition takes a step up with the Rangers. Vista Ridge needs to keep piling up the wins to feel secure in getting a postseason spot, as a game with Round Rock still looms.

Other games

Thursday, Westwood hosts Vandegrift.

Friday, Round Rock welcomes Stony Point and Cedar Ridge hosts McNeil.

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Colorado Other – District 1 Election Results

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Election Date: Nov. 3, 2020 | Updated 6:01 AM EST Nov. 2, 2020

State Board of Education – District 1

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Choices Total Votes % Votes
Escarcega (D)
Wulff (R)

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