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Update about the Free College program

Posted on July 24, 2022 at 9:55 PM

AFSCME Family:


Today we learned that the U.S. Department of Education notified our “Free College” partners — Eastern Gateway Community College (EGCC), Central State University and Paul Quinn College — that they could no longer offer no-cost college to our members and their families. The department indicated that the financing of the program for students not eligible for Pell Grants is inconsistent with federal requirements. As a result, new students may not enroll.


There is no financial liability owed by any former or existing students who participated in the program. We are engaged in discussions with the department and EGCC concerning the continuing education of existing students. Continuation at no cost should not be an issue for any student who qualifies for a Pell Grant. For those who are not Pell eligible, and do not have an alternative source of funding, such as an employer or union trust funded tuition assistance program, we are seeking to continue Free College until their education is complete, but we do not now have an assurance that will be the case.


The Free College program is an outstanding benefit, in some cases life-changing, for AFSCME members and their families. I was proud that we could offer the opportunity to obtain a debt free education to our members and I am committed to finding an alternative program.


By offering this benefit, we learned that a large percentage of our members are eligible for Pell Grants. This federal program provides eligible students with up to $6,895 a year in education assistance depending on various factors such as income, cost of attendance, and full or part-time student status. The grants are portable and can be used at almost any accredited college or university. To find out if you are eligible, you will need to complete an application form and the college’s financial office will calculate your eligibility before you enroll. Click on this link to learn more.

I am sorry to report this disappointing news, but we will make every effort to at least partially fill the void left by the cessation of the Free College program.


In solidarity,


Lee Saunders

AFSCME President

Congratulations Murlean!

Posted on June 15, 2022 at 7:50 AM

AFSCME Ohio Council 8 would like to congratulate AFSCME Local 232 member Murlean Robinson on graduating with her associate degree. Murlean took advantage of the AFSCME free college benefit and graduated with a 3.8 GPA. She plans to continue on to get her bachelor's degree in early childhood education. Congratulations Murlean!

Summer Job Opportunities

Posted on May 10, 2022 at 9:00 PM

2022 AFSCME Family Scholarships are now available!

Posted on March 28, 2022 at 6:30 PM



The Ohio Council 8 Executive Board is proud to announce the 2022 AFSCME Family Scholarships are now available.


Application can be found


The scholarships, two $2,500-a-year grants for four years, are awarded annually to two different recipients, one male and one female, based on the applicant's need, academic history and higher education goals.


Applications must be postmarked no later than Friday, May 6, 2022. Applications which are incomplete, or which are postmarked after the specified date, will be ineligible for consideration.


For more information read our blog post



Union meeting is canceled for February 5 due to the weather

Posted on February 2, 2022 at 7:15 PM

Union meeting is canceled for February 5 due to the weather

Employee Health Week

Posted on January 24, 2022 at 5:35 PM

Remote Learning

Posted on January 11, 2022 at 5:15 PM

REMOTE LEARNING begins January 12 and return to school January 24 until further notice.


The school buildings are open, if you have the resources, you can work remotely for those classifications that work in classrooms or directly with students.


For other classifications, you should be receiving or have received your directives from your administrators.


In Solidarity,

AFSCME Local 232

Meeting Notice 02/05/2022

Posted on January 11, 2022 at 5:05 PM


Posted on November 30, 2021 at 1:20 AM

2021 Para Training Communication

Posted on November 1, 2021 at 6:35 PM


Who: All CPS Paraprofessionals


What: Paraprofessional Training in SafeSchools for the day before Thanksgiving


When: The training must be completed by Wednesday, November 24th


Where: The CPS Paraprofessional Training 2021 can be found at:




CPS Paraprofessionals have the opportunity to complete a training in SafeSchools as an alternative to reporting to buildings on Wednesday, November 24th, the day before Thanksgiving. Paras should complete this training outside of normal work hours.



It is the aim of the CPS Talent Department and the OPEPP district team to provide relevant training opportunities for paraprofessionals. Thanks to your feedback from the spring survey, we have compiled training modules in SafeSchools on topics that will continue to help you grow in your role.



In an effort to provide you with flexibility during this busy holiday season, we have granted you early access to complete this training anytime between now and Wednesday, November 24th. To access the training, please login to SafeSchools HERE.



This training has been uniquely designed specifically for Paraprofessionals. Content includes modules on:



Montessori Classrooms

Supporting Students with Disabilities

Using Presence, Proximity, and Prompting to Reduce Problem Behaviors

Intro to Schoology

Google Drive Basics

Cultural Competence and Racial Bias

Career Growth and Development

Helping with Instruction


This training is broken down into 23 Units, and is six hours long in total. This is a Self-Paced learning opportunity. This training was developed for Paraprofessionals in general, so some material may not directly relate to your specific school situation.


When the entire CPS Paraprofessional Training 2021 is complete in SafeSchools, LaunchED will pull a completion report to assist HR in assigning credit to each CPS employee and ensure that they are paid for working on November 24th.



To access the CPS Paraprofessional Training 2021 go to to login with your Employee ID#.



Once you are logged in, on the left hand side of your screen you’ll see a Home icon. Below that is a circular Play icon, which represents Extra Training. Click on the Play (Extra Training) icon.






Once you’re in the Extra Training section, you’ll see a search box on the top right, type Para into the search box. When you’re typing Para, you’ll see the CPS Paraprofessional Training 2021 link appear. Click on it to open the training.






You are now in the training. Click on the Custom Course arrow to access the list of modules.






You’ll now see the list of all the modules. Each time you complete a section module, a green box with a check mark will appear. When you’ve completed all the modules, it will read Course Complete, a green circle with a check mark will appear next to the Course title at top, and a certificate will become available as well.



At that point, you are done. LaunchED will pull all the completion certificates from SafeSchools and communicate to HR so that you are paid for working on November 24th.



For any questions on the training, or for SafeSchools support, contact LaunchED at 513-363-0406 or [email protected]



Thank you,



LaunchED Team