Dayton Announces First-Ever Paid Parental Leave Policy

Today, Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley announced that City employees will now be eligible for up to six additional weeks of paid time off after the birth or adoption of a new child. This is in addition to existing leave policies that allow employees to use accrued sick or vacation time. As a result of the policy, employees will be able to spend more time caring for and bonding with new family members, time which has been shown to have numerous benefits for child and maternal health, gender equity and the local economy.

Mayor Whaley has recognized what many Fortune 500 CEO’s have realized, which is that establishing a paid parental leave policy is good for women, families, employers and local communities.

With today’s announcement of Dayton’s first-ever paid parental leave policy, the city aligns itself with dozens of thriving private sector companies who have also recently announced similar polices.

This year alone, Nestle, Johnson & Johnson and Goldman Sachs all announced the implementation of some form of paid parental leave. And just this month, Netflix, Adobe and Microsoft all added their names to this list.

These highly successful companies have all provided paid leave for their employees after the birth or adaption of a baby because they know that doing so improves employee retention, job satisfaction, and productivity and helping employers compete for top talent.

Benefits of Paid Parental Leave

In addition to being a good policy for both employers and employees, paid parental leave also has numerous benefits to individuals and communities. As Innovation Ohio outlined in a report earlier this year, the availability of paid parental leave means that low-wage workers are less inclined to drop out of the workforce and on to public assistance.  This not only reduces gender and economic disparities, but it strengthens regional economies.

Paid parental leave can also improve critical health outcomes like immunization and infant mortality.  A review of global data found that increases in access to paid leave was associated with 22 to 25 percent higher rates of immunization for DPT3, Measles and Polio. Studies from 18 of the world’s largest market-based democracies also found that access to paid leave has decreased in deaths in the first month of life by 2.6 percent and in the first year of life of life by 4.1 percent!

We are encouraged that Mayor Whaley and the city of Dayton are leading by example on this important policy. We hope other employers and communities throughout Ohio will follow suit.

A Closer Look: The Kasich Record on Public Education

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Research Overview

As Gov. John Kasich looks ahead to the White House, we took a look back at his record on one of the most critical areas of responsibility for his gubernatorial leadership – primary and secondary education. This report examines various Kasich administration policies championed during his tenure and what the impact has been on schools, communities, and most importantly Ohio’s 1.8 million school children. [Read more…]

Ohio’s Troubling Achievement Gap: Charter Schools Make it Worse

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Late last week, the White House put out a report breaking down the state of the American student achievement gap and the news wasn’t great for Ohio. In reading, we had the nation’s ninth highest gap between our highest and lowest performing schools. In math, we had the nation’s second-highest gap, and in graduation rates we had the nation’s fourth largest gap. And while much of this difference can be explained by the relatively high performance of our highest performing schools, the gap is and should be a serious concern for Ohio’s educators, parents and policy makers.

However, what the data used in the report also show is this: Ohio’s charter schools have made the gap worse, not better, because they make up a disproportionate share of the worst performing schools, as measured by the federal data used in the White House report (see “About the Analysis” below).

For example:

  • Despite making up 8% of all Ohio school buildings, charters represent 31% of the worst-performing reading buildings, 13% of the worst-performing math buildings, and 78% of the buildings with the worst graduation rates.
  • Ohio’s achievement gap is 6% bigger in math, 8% bigger in reading and a whopping 23% bigger in graduation rates than they would be if the analysis only included local public schools.
  • And while the state’s achievement gap is still too large, in all three cases, eliminating charters from the calculation drops Ohio’s achievement gap ranking. Math drops from second to fourth greatest. Reading falls from ninth to 11th And the state’s graduation rate gap tumbles from fourth to 14th highest.
  • The achievement gap is greater in charter schools for math than it is in the local public schools
  • The charter school achievement gap is narrower in reading and graduation rates because charters’ highest performers are so low performing overall compared with local public schools. For example, the average graduation rate for the 19 highest-performing charters – defined as those that have greater than 60% graduation rates  (see “About the Analysis” below)– is 65%. Those 19 charters represent 17% of eligible charters. The average rate for the highest performing local schools – 96% of which have graduation rates greater than the 60% threshold – is 91%.

[Read more…]