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Melissa Cropper

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Melissa Cropper, President of the Ohio Federation of Teachers, joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast and discussed two state House bills that could negatively impact Ohio’s state budget, as well as updates on two organizing campaigns.

Cropper called House Bill 1 a tax cut for the wealthy. As introduced, the bill will reduce Ohio’s state income tax, eliminate the 10 percent rollback on residential and agricultural property taxes and reduce the assessment percentage on residential, agricultural, business and commercial property from 35 percent to 31.5 percent. She believes it will lead to a $4 billion loss in revenue. 

Besides H.B. 1, she also spoke about House Bill 11, which would establish the Backpack Scholarship Program. Cropper explained how this legislation, if enacted, would take funds from public schools and give them to private schools. The Backpack Scholarship Program will be open to all public, nonpublic and homeschool students in grades K-12. It would be funded through an education savings account (ESA) and go to a participating nonpublic school or for those who receive home schooling. Parents could use the ESA to pay for tuition, fees, uniforms and books. H.B. 11 differs from EdChoice, the state’s largest voucher program, she added.

Cropper then gave an update on two organizing campaigns. At the Worthington libraries, employees will soon vote to give formal consent for their first contract. Another organizing campaign is taking place at KIPP Columbus, which is part of a national network of free, open enrollment, public schools. The KIPP Columbus staff continues to wait for their union election. Cropper said there is an urgency to get the vote in, as two new unfair labor practice charges were recently filed.

America’s Work Force is the only daily labor podcast in the US and has been on the air since 1993, supplying listeners with useful, relevant input into their daily lives through fact-finding features, in-depth interviews, informative news segments and practical consumer reports. America’s Work Force is committed to providing an accessible venue in which America's workers and their families can hear discussion on important, relevant topics such as employment, healthcare, legislative action, labor-management relations, corporate practices, finances, local and national politics, consumer reports and labor issues.

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