Posts Tagged 'Nickie Antonio'

Rep. Nickie Antonio Highlighted in Ms. Magazine- 40th Anniversary Edition

Rep. Nickie Antonio is featured in the current (Fall 2012) 40th Anniversary Issue of Ms. Magazine.  This special edition focuses on the upcoming presidential election and the importance of voting. “Women’s Lives in the Balance” is the title of the article in which Rep. Antonio shares her comments with the readers of the nation.  The author, Beth Baker, describes: “Antonio, who just completed her first term in a conservative statehouse, expected to be “focusing on funding education…getting our folks back to work.” Instead she has played a leading role in challenging extremist measures that would have, among other things, defunded Planned Parenthood and banned abortion even in the case of rape, incest or a woman’s life being at risk.”

The article goes on to describe the advances women have made over years time but the fate of this election could extinct the many equalities women have just begun to enjoy.  Eleanor Smeal, Feminist Majority president and Ms. Publisher states, “Let’s face it, in state after state and in the U.S. House, right-wing politicians are passing obnoxious bill to curb women’s access to birth control while they debate giving more rights to fertilized eggs than women.”  Elections have consequences and women will have the chance to ensure their freedoms this November.  The Ms. Magazine article addresses many topics that we as women need to consider when heading to the polls this election cycle.  This issue is available at local newsstands. You can learn more at


Teacher Appreciation: by State Rep. Nickie Antonio

Recently we celebrated National Teacher Appreciation Week; the reality that many teachers face in the classroom is anything but appreciation.  Teachers are forced to deal with the results of state budget cuts while at the same time, expected to perform to perfection with limited resources in order to meet state mandates.

In Fiscal Year 2013, Ohio’s schools are facing a budget deficit of over $1.13 billion.  The financial outlook becomes bleaker in Fiscal Year 2014, when the combined budget deficit reaches over $1.78 billion.  These unprecedented cuts have led to teacher and staff layoffs and potential reductions in curriculum across the state.

School districts have taken massive hits on Governor Kasich’s watch. Lakewood City Schools’ projections for the next two fiscal years are short by about $13-15 million. If we want to just get by, the money will have to come from somewhere. Lawmakers can’t keep crying wolf about our schools, saying we have to defund them to “fix them”.  Not only does doing so work against students, families and teachers, but it builds a narrative that public education is so askew that we should settle on privatizing tax dollars for education without acknowledging the excellence that also exists in many of our public schools.

Just a few weeks ago, Cleveland City Schools announced that 508 teaching positions would be lost at the end of this year while another 200 teachers took retirement packages. The district plans on shortening the school day and cutting music and arts programs. At the same time, the district has devised a transformation strategy and will ask voters to further subsidize public education in the area due to some $60 million that was slashed from our district in the biennium budget. Surely we can all agree that there are cost savings measures which could put in place. Teachers consistently take pay cuts, pay for supplies with their salary, and see reductions in benefits. Already, teachers in Cleveland have settled on a 5-6 percent pay cut next year. There’s no compromise from the state.

I want to state here that I support Mayor Jackson’s plan as presented to the Legislature through HB 525. I participated in many of the planning meetings in a process nothing short of amazing. A group of concerned leaders from the Mayor, school superintendent, business and philanthropy made room at the table to include teachers and legislators to refine a plan in hopes of reinventing the CMSD.  I support the legislation as introduced because sometimes exercising leadership requires taking a risk, and this plan gives hope to our children and their future beyond partisan rhetoric.

In this challenging climate other casualties emerge that give me pause. Women are disproportionately affected by education budget cuts as they make up the majority of teachers in our state.  According to the Cleveland Teachers Union, 63% of those who will lose their job with the Cleveland City Schools are women.  The Department of Education states that 85,045.00 of the total 113,123.00 teachers in Ohio are women.  Defunding education certainly will have a negative impact on women and their families. Not much appreciation felt here.

Today, as we continue to face economic challenges, budget deficits, and competing requests for funds such as quality education for all, the public may begin to place blame and point to quick fixes.  But in the spirit of National Teacher Appreciation Week, let’s remember that our teachers are actually investing in Ohio and our children. Maybe the state should think about doing the same.

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 962 other followers

Ohio House Dems on Twitter!

Twitter Button