Summit Academy Teachers In Parma Go On Strike
Summit Academy Teachers in Parma walked off the job and hit the picket line after their union and the charter school’s management couldn’t reach a contract agreement following eight months of negotiations.
The 25 teachers, who joined the Ohio Federation of Teachers last spring, are asking for smaller caseloads and class sizes due to the high number of students diagnosed with ADHD or autism at the charter school.
Mike Meyers, a high school intervention specialist, said the building needs repairs and teachers need more time to prepare.
“It is a difficult job, but we make it work the best we can,” Meyers said. “We have come to a point where these kids deserve better treatment. They deserve one-on-one attention. They have [individualized education] plans in place that are being overlooked because they don’t have staff.”
Kelly Granda, who has been teaching for 15 years, says doing her job in recent years has become difficult due to the working conditions and the students, many of whom have a learning disability.
“They were promised a smaller class size, and it is not happening,” said Granda. “And when we asked management to make it happen we were told, 'No, that is not possible. We will not put that in your contract.' And we won't return to our classrooms until it is the learning environment that our students have been promised.”
Due to the strike, students will not have class for the second day in a row on Wednesday, February 20.
Summit Academy management has yet to reply to a request for comment. Earlier this week, management said in a statement they are “disappointed” by the teachers’ decision to “abandon” their classrooms.
This is the fourth charter school in the country to go on strike.