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Tuesday, January 19, 2021
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Teachers’ Strike Puts Special Education at Risk Amidst COVID-19

Special Education

In Ohio, Cleveland Heights University Heights School District has threatened to shut down special education classes if teachers walk away from the job. Last week, the teachers’ union had announced to go on a strike to protest against stalled negotiations by Board of Education. The tiff regarding budget cuts in public school funding due to COVID-1 and authorities’ intention to create a “fiscally responsible” contract have apparently widened the disagreement between school and teachers.

“It’s not an appropriate education. It’s not something they can just stop. My son can’t suddenly become not autistic, it doesn’t work that way,” comments Mandy Boyles whose autistic son is studying in grade xiii. The parents have received a letter from Cleveland Heights-University Heights School District that announces the imminent collapse of special education classes on December 2.

“We’re talking high need students. Many of them with multiple disabilities. It’s going to impact several hundred that receive services from special ed teachers,” explains Karen Rego, the President of the Cleveland Heights Teacher’s Union.

Cleveland Heights Teacher’s Union is stern with their demands for a fair contract.

The teachers and the District are at loggerheads regarding health care premiums. Many teachers are on the brink of losing $3,000 and $5,000 in take-home pay with the District’s latest offer.

“The healthcare plan currently in place is out of line with those of any comparable school district, as is the Board’s pick-up of 1 percent of the teachers’ mandatory retirement contribution. Our offer aligns the union’s healthcare and retirement contributions with other similar-sized school districts,” the District announced in a statement.

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