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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 to talk about the state budget proposed by the Ohio Senate. Cropper also discussed a workforce development educational program in New Lexington and a book festival in Columbus.

After receiving an approved budget from the Ohio House of Representatives, the state’s Senate has overhauled the state spending plan, and proposed a new budget with major cuts to education and more. Among the cuts are $300 million to public school funding and a percent of private school vouchers for all students regardless of family income. Along with the budget cuts comes the funding for Senate Bill 1 and Senate Bill 83. The OFT is requesting legislators remove these provisions and pass a final budget closer to the House’s version, Cropper said.

In New Lexington, IBEW Local 1105 is partnering with the OFT and the local school district to provide workforce development as part of the students' learning. There are multiple parts to the development program, with a farm and crops. They are also working on a program for students to gain credentials that can take time off an apprenticeship program after graduation. Cropper believes this is a perfect example of how the education system can better prepare students for life after school.

On July 15 and 16, the OFT, a state affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers, will team up with the Columbus Metropolitan Library and participate in the AFT’s Reading Opens the World Festival. They will distribute books to children at the library and at Topiary Park in Columbus. The AFT has plans to distribute over 1 million books to children this summer and the festival will help achieve that initiative. Cropper added that along with the books, they will also hand out information on the Local Unions.

Listen to the entire episode to learn more.


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.

America’s Work Force Union Podcast is brought to you in part by our sponsors: AFL-CIO, American Federation of Government Employees, American Federation of Musicians Local 4, American Alliance for Manufacturing, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, Columbus/Central Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council, Communication Workers of America, International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers, International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers Local 50, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers, International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Crafts, International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council 6, Ironworkers Great Lakes District Council, The Labor Citizen newspaper, Laborers International Union of The National Labor Office of Blue Cross and Blue Shield, North America, North Coast Area Labor Federation, Ohio Federation of Teachers, Survey and Ballot Systems, United Labor Agency, United Steelworkers.


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