Dayton teachers union members cast ballots in drive-thru vote

Hundreds of Dayton teachers union members participated in a drive-thru vote  Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, at Ponitz Career Technology Center that is connected to Dayton Public Schools' upcoming layoffs plan.
Hundreds of Dayton teachers union members participated in a drive-thru vote Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, at Ponitz Career Technology Center that is connected to Dayton Public Schools' upcoming layoffs plan.

Hundreds of Dayton teachers union members participated in a drive-thru vote Monday connected to Dayton Public Schools’ upcoming layoffs plan.

Last week, Dayton Education Association President David Romick would confirm only that the union had been notified of a temporary reduction in force. Some DPS teachers in the arts and physical education areas have posted on social media that their positions were on the potential RIF list.

It's unclear whether everyone receiving a RIF notice will be temporarily laid off, or whether union negotiations with the district led to some type of related agreement that members were voting on Monday.

Hundreds of Dayton teachers union members participated in a drive-thru vote  Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, at Ponitz Career Technology Center that is connected to Dayton Public Schools' upcoming layoffs plan.
Hundreds of Dayton teachers union members participated in a drive-thru vote Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, at Ponitz Career Technology Center that is connected to Dayton Public Schools' upcoming layoffs plan.

Romick and other members of Dayton’s teachers union leadership were running Monday’s vote at Ponitz Career Technology Center, but Romick declined all comment. Any agreement also would have to be ratified by Dayton’s school board. DPS Superintendent Elizabeth Lolli has repeatedly said she will not comment at all on personnel issues such as this.

Normally, union votes like these are held at large all-membership meetings, but social distancing concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic led to a different approach Monday. A huge line of cars stretched from the west end of Ponitz's Washington Street parking lot, backing up onto Edwin Moses Boulevard at 4:30 p.m., the start of the voting window.

ExploreDayton Public Schools goes online for at least first quarter

Cars pulled into the parking lot, were directed to one of several lanes, and took an orange ballot from one of the teachers union leaders as they pulled up. After they checked off their vote, they put the ballot in a box at the end of the lane and pulled away.

The Dayton school district is scheduled to start classes Sept. 8, with students attending online for at least the first quarter.

Lolli has said all students in a given grade level will watch the same pre-recorded DPS-created lessons each morning, then individual DPS teachers will meet online with their classes of students to provide additional instruction, answer questions and assist with work.

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