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In the States: Ohio Stakeholders Address Critical Shortage of Educators, Update on Local Politics

The new “In the States” feature by Kaitlyn Brennan is a weekly update to keep members informed on state-level activities impacting the education and educator preparation community.

recent Enquirer analysis of state data found educator resignations in Ohio nearly quadruped from 2019 to 2021, in addition to there being five times as many retirements. State and local education leaders met to address the teacher shortage crisis late last month during a series of solutions-centered meetings.

The first event, hosted by Miami University, took place at the Voice of America Learning Center in West Chester Township. University leaders and officials from the Ohio Department of Education and the Ohio Department of Higher Education were in attendance along with 100 additional stakeholders in education, business, and government.

The purpose of the meetings were to celebrate teaching and to bring together stakeholders “to identify collaborative solutions to address the teacher shortage” and recruit and retain educators, the event registration link reads. “The teacher shortage is an issue that affects all our communities. Not only does the shortage of high-quality teachers have an impact on the learning opportunities available to the children in our schools, but it also has a direct effect on the economic vitality and quality of life in our communities,” the website reads.

“The lack of high-quality teachers in classrooms has a detrimental impact on student learning and a negative downstream impact on the talent pipeline needed by local businesses and organizations,” said Jason Lane, dean of Miami’s College of Education, Health and Society in a news release. “We need to develop collaborative approaches to recruit and retain more individuals to pursue teaching as a career.”

All Politics Are Local

While the media attention surrounding the mid-term elections focused primarily on federal and gubernatorial races, several state and local education related measures made the ballot. Voters across six states voted on seven education-related ballot measures ranging from additional funding for schools to financial aid for undocumented immigrants. Results so far are as follows:

  • Arizona: It is a tight contest for a proposition that allows undocumented students to pay in state tuition.
  • California: The state secures a boost in funds of $1 billion for arts.
  • Colorado: There is an early lead for an increase in state taxes to fund meals that meet nutrition requirements for public schools.
  • Massachusetts: A tax on millionaires to provide education and transportation funding is too early to call with votes still being counted.
  • New Mexico: Additional funding for ECE teacher pay and extended school year plus $215 million in bonds for schools passes.
  • West Virginia: Voters shut down an amendment that would have required the State Board of Education to obtain legislative approval for proposed rules.

Additionally, State Superintendent races continue in the following states: Arizona, California, Georgia, Idaho, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Wyoming.

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