Spring showers brought more than flowers to the Ohio Statehouse lawn; they brought over 100 public eSchool families and supporters from all over the state to the Ohio eSchool Families & Friends Coalition 2012 Capitol Day.
The public eSchool families rallied on the Statehouse lawn to bring attention to proposed changes to the public school grading system which could unfairly close some public eSchools. The Capitol Day event was also an opportunity for public eSchool families, teachers and supporters to let their legislators know how important this public school option is to them.
Families started out the day coloring handouts and writing down their personal stories to share with their legislators. They also got creative making colorful signs for the rally with slogans like “eSchools Rock”, “eSchools ARE public schools”, and “We’re home, we learn, we’re happy”.
The group paraded outside for a boisterous rally on the Statehouse lawn to let lawmakers know that the proposed revamp of the public school report card system is unfair.
The revamp of the grading system, included in the mid-biennial budget currently being considered by the state legislature, would lower report card grades for most Ohio schools; traditional public schools, brick and mortar public charter schools and public online schools. However, only Ohio’s charter schools – including eSchools - would face closure if they get an F in any two of the last three years (as required by current state law).
In short -- bad traditional schools continue on forever, while community schools that may be doing as well or better could close.
The Coalition also presented its “Golden Apple Award” to State Representative Michael Henne (R-Clayton) in recognition of his staunch support of parents’ right to choose the best educational environment for their child. A member of the House Education Committee, Rep. Henne has time and time again shown his support for school choice. He is also firmly dedicated to digital learning and finding more innovative ways (like eSchools) to educate Ohio’s children.
The day concluded with personal visits to legislators and tours of the statehouse. Coverage of this event can be found in The Columbus Dispatch, the Capitol Blog, Ohio Public Radio, and The Alliance Review/ The Ashland Times Gazette (Dix Communications).