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School Choice & Charters

Ohio Teachers Want Answers from Obama

By Michele McNeil — February 21, 2008 1 min read

Inquiring minds in Ohio want to know: Is Obama open to vouchers, or isn’t he?

That’s the gist of this letter

the Ohio Federation of Teachers sent to Sen. Barack Obama’s campaign this week after the Illinois Democrat recently told newspaper reporters in Milwaukee that he might reconsider his opposition to vouchers if there’s research to back it up, and if vouchers are what’s best for kids.

The letter, signed by the OFT and the local unions representing teachers in Cleveland, Toledo, and Cincinnati, points out that Sen. Obama didn’t seem nearly as open to vouchers in his responses to an earlier survey by its parent union, the American Federation of Teachers. So the teachers want to know where he really stands. (The union hasn’t gotten an answer yet.)

Obama’s campaign has tried to calm the flames, sending this statement

to Education Week that maintains he is, and always will be, against vouchers.

Obama has already lost the AFT’s endorsement to his rival, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton. Still, it’s worth emphasizing that these are Ohio teachers wanting answers. And, the Ohio union says many of the members are in fact, undecided. And many of them will be voting in the pivotal March 4 primary that could further determine the fate of the two candidates.

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