Ohio Gadfly Daily News 5-13-14

  • “Fiscal sustainability” is one of the first criteria to be addressed by reviewers looking at Straight-A Fund applications. And there is some concern that charter schools pitching projects look quite different on paper than traditional districts or ESCs in that regard. So many charter schools' projects were graded down due to sustainability issues in the most recent review that they will be looked at again separately to assess the potential biases their structure introduces. Hey guys, what about standalone STEM schools too? Just sayin’. (Gongwer Ohio)
  • Two new members were sworn in to join the Cleveland Municipal School Board yesterday, one of them a former member of the Friends of Breakthrough Board, the other a public health practitioner. Both charter schools and health-related wraparound services are innovations being pursued by CMSD so these seem like pretty good fits. But I’m not sure why we had to have that little joke about Ms. Bigham having made sure to leave the FoB Board before joining CMSD. Weird verbal dynamics. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)
  • Speaking of Breakthrough Schools, a 2011 documentary about a 7th grader at E-Prep struggling with school and life will air tonight on WVIZ-TV in Cleveland. Tomorrow, the young man will update us on his continuing story on public radio. Important stuff, I think. (StateImpact Ohio)
  • State Auditor Dave Yost made 10 recommendations to tiny Mechanicsburg Schools to help them operate more efficiently and to save money. Even after a bitter levy defeat last week, officials in Mechanicsburg are resistant to a number of those recommendations; maybe most of them. (Springfield News-Sun)
  • The way Ohio funds its schools is a subject of much angst across our fair state: who gets too little, who gets too much, what’s “fair”, state vs. local dollars, categorical funding, on and on. Here’s an interesting little history lesson on how profits from the Ohio Lottery figure in, 40 years since the lottery’s start. The new wrinkle, of course, is courtesy of our four newish casinos. Can’t wait to read that story 40 years from now. (Northern Ohio Morning Journal)
  • Here’s another history lesson: districts can’t use school funds to campaign for their levy issues. However, it looks like some violation of that prohibition might have occurred back in 2010 in the Dayton suburb of Kettering. Last week, a Kettering district official was put on leave and it is speculated – in over 1700 words – that the 2010 levy may be the reason why. (Dayton Daily News)
  • Editors in Cleveland are opining in the wake of a dust up between CMSD and City Council on the topic of potential school building closure. They assert that Cleveland can afford no sacred cows when the district has way more space than children to serve. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)
  • There are no cows involved, but editors in Columbus are making hay as well as opining, in the wake of revelations that district officials in Marion schools apparently took data scrubbing to another level of awful. We’ve been over this before and I wouldn’t normally want to rehash a topic except for the fact that the Big D’s editors take the opportunity to call for Ohio’s restrictive student data law to be revamped, connecting student data records to their names. (Columbus Dispatch)

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