Michelle Rhee’s anti-union, anti-teacher, pro-charter school group StudentsFirst is sending out mailers supporting John Barnes over Jill Miller Zimon in the Democratic Primary for the Ohio House 12th District.
The mailers praise Barnes for his support of the Cleveland Plan, an initiative pushed by Governor Kasich that instituted SB5-like anti-union provisions while shifting funding away from public schools and into failing charter schools. The former head of the Cleveland Teachers Union called the plan “a state-wide attack on all teacher unions.”
The mailers also mention the Plain Dealer’s tepid endorsement of Barnes, the only major endorsement Barnes received in the race.
Zimon’s growing list of endorsements includes the Ohio Democratic Party, the Ohio Federation of Teachers, the Cleveland Teachers Union, the Ohio Education Association and even U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown.
In 2012, StudentsFirst ran similar mailers supporting Republican Stephanie Kunze over Ohio Teacher of the Year award winner Maureen Reedy. Kunze had no experience in education, while Reedy had been a classroom teacher for over 29 years.
Rhee’s StudentsFirst organization is based in Sacramento, California but the mailers list a PO Box in Amelia, OH. According to the Ohio Secretary of State’s website, StudentsFirst is not an organization registered in Ohio.
The StudentsFirst mailers supporting Barnes are pictured below.