What the Columbus Teachers’ Strike Means for Parents

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Now that the teachers’ union has declared a strike, parents at Columbus City schools are bracing for what it will mean for their families.

It’s a moment many have been waiting for and awaiting the Columbus Education Association’s vote on Sunday.

Parents said they were frustrated with the negotiation process, having heard about 22 negotiation sessions and now knowing what’s next gives them time to make big decisions.

“It could mean missing a few days of school until that contract is ironed out,” said Kristin McCormick, a parent with a first-grader in the district. “I hope this happens as quickly as possible with minimal disruption to student learning, but we’ll see how it goes.”

The CCS announced a few weeks ago that if a strike were called, it would open the school year with remote learning led by substitute teachers.

“He can’t sit in front of a computer all day,” McCormick said. “It’s not going to be a conducive learning environment for him and then there’s also the worry of not having his regular teacher which he expects.”

A parent said he would not send his child to school in the midst of the strike.

“No, no one in my family will ever cross an educator’s picket line,” said Megan Buscemi, another parent in the district.

Buscemi said she wants a normal school year for her new sophomore, Violet.

“When the board and the district come up with language like, ‘This is our last, best, and last offer,’ that’s America speaking,” Buscemi said. “That’s not the way I expect educators who want to put other educators and children first to speak out. It’s harsh.

Both Buscemi and McCormick said they support the teachers and hope for a quick resolution.

McCormick said another big concern for her would be finding daycare for the foreseeable future.

“We don’t have any family or friends or carers in town so we rely on a daycare center for after school care and I don’t know if they will be available during the school day,” said she declared.

There is still time for the board and the union to meet at the bargaining table; the first day of school for students is Wednesday. The board of directors announced that it would meet in a closed executive session on Monday at 8 p.m.

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