CMSD teachers strike averted, paves way for levy campaign

CMSD teachers tentative deal avoids strike

CLEVELAND - Cleveland School Teacher have reached a deal to prevent a Friday strike. That paves the way to launch the all-out campaign to pass the renewal levy needed to continue the School Transformation Plan.

Cleveland students and parents got the good news in a pre-school phone call Tuesday morning.

Eric Gordon, CMSD Superintendent and CEO, delivers the recorded message.

"I am pleased to let you know that this morning, after 21 hours of additional bargaining, the District and the Cleveland Teachers Union have reached a deal that we both believe is good for kids and fair for adults...Both the CTU and the District appreciate your patience and support while we worked through some very important issues...," Gordon said.

Teachers and schools issued a joint press release announcing the deal, declining to release details until teachers were informed.

The main unresolved issue concerned a new formula to evaluate teachers. Because of Cleveland's unique Transformation Plan, no other district in the state has this challenge.

Most other districts use experience and education. Cleveland used test scores, principal evaluations and other factors.

In the statement CTU President David Quolke said, "We worked hard to avoid any disruption to our students' education. We were able to bring back a contract that is good for kids and fair for educations-that our members will be proud to ratify."

Both teachers and school board must approve the contract which would take affect immediately.

 CMSD parents were elated.

"It's a good thing. The students need their teachers and their education," Lissette Colon said. 

Nora Ibrahim echoed that. "I was going to strike with the teachers if necessary, if they need it, they deserve it. They're good teachers."

The resolution now allows all parties to concentrate on passage of Issue 107, renewal of the levy passed four years ago.

It would continue to cost the owner of a $50,000 home about $230 a year . Taxes will not go up if the issue passes.

Taxes would decline if it fails.

Some money would also go to support selected charter schools.

The school levy campaign's last polling done in July shows the issue passing.

Four years ago it was approved with 57 percent of the vote.

The challenge is to convince voters that Cleveland schools have made enough improvement to warrant reupping the levy.


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